S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite hit all-time intraday highs

Stocks closed at new highs for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indexes on Friday, as investors welcomed strong corporate earnings, government approval of the T-Mobile and Sprint merger, and better-than-expected economic growth.

How are the major benchmarks faring?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average  ended up 51.47 points, or 0.2%, at 27,192.45, while the S&P 500 index  closed up 22.19 points, or 0.7%, at 3,025.86. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 91.67 points, or 1.1%, at 8,330.21.

In addition to the all-time closing high, the S&P 500 registered a new intraday record at 3,027.98 while Nasdaq saw a record intraday high at 8,339.64.

The S&P 500 has risen for six of the past eight weeks and is now up 20.7% for the year to date, while Nasdaq is up 25.5% for the year.


What’s driving the market?

Alphabet , Starbucks , McDonalds and Twitter  all reported better-than-expected earnings late Thursday or early Friday and led the market up.

To date, 44% of S&P 500 index companies have reported quarterly earnings for the second quarter and 77% have posted a stronger-than-forecast profit, according to FactSet.

The U.S. Justice Department officially , provided the wireless carriers divest assets to Dish Network Corp leading to gains for all three stocks.

On the economic front, the U.S. economy grew at an annualized pace of 2.1% in the second quarter, , slowing from 3.1% in the first three months of the year, but faster than the 1.9% expected by economists, per a MarketWatch poll.

Some of the details of the report were stronger than the headline number, with consumer spending surging to 4.3% growth from a 1.1% gain in the first quarter. However, business investment shrunk 0.8%, the biggest drop in 3½ years, a figure that likely provides enough cause for concern to keep the Federal Reserve on track to deliver an interest-rate cut when it meets next week.

“The data clearly shows signs of a bifurcated economy,” wrote Michael Reynolds, investment strategy officer at Glenmede, in an email. “Weakness in manufacturing has weighed on components like inventories and fixed investment, but the healthy U.S. consumer has helped buoy the economy as seen in the stable reading on personal-consumption expenditures.”

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Despite the better-than-expected GDP data, the by at least a quarter point when it meets July 30-31.

“The Fed still has the green light to cut rates,” said Stephen Gallagher, U.S. chief of economics at Société Générale.

“It is pretty difficult to pull back from signaling rate cuts and the risks are still there,” Gallagher said.

Next week also brings resumption of trade talks between the U.S. and China in Shanghai but National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow that he would not expect “a grand deal” soon.

Which stocks are in focus?

Shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc.  soared 10% Friday after reporting second-quarter results that and announcing a $25 billion share buyback program.

Also see:

Intel Corp.  shares were up after the chip giant and raised its outlook for the year late Thursday.

Shares of social-media company Twitter Inc.  jumped 9% after the company

Shares of Amazon Inc.  fell after the e-commerce giant reported results late Thursday that .

Coffee retailer Starbucks Corp.  shares ended up 9% after it late Thursday and raised its guidance for the year.

Dow component McDonald’s Corp. reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations, sending the stock up

Shares of drugmaker AbbVie Inc.  rose after reporting second-quarter results Friday.

How did other markets trade?

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note  was little changed around 2.08%.

In commodities markets, the price of crude oil  rose modestly, while gold prices was steady around $1,419.10 per ounce.

The U.S. dollar index  rose 0.2% to 98 after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNBC that after a meeting of cabinet officials and economic advisers. The British pound fell to a new two year low at $1.2386.

Asian markets closed mixed overnight Thursday, with China’s CSI 300  index rising 0.2%, Japan’s Nikkei 225  adding 0.5% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng  losing 0.7%.

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