U.S. stocks ticked to record highs Friday as investors shrugged off a sharp drop in consumer confidence.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 16 points, or 0.05%, while the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite index advanced 0.16% and 0.04%, respectively. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 booked their fourth straight close in record territory and nabbed weekly gains. The Nasdaq finished less than 73 points below its own all-time peak and slipped for the week.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||35515.38||+15.53||+0.04%|
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||14822.897575||+6.64||+0.04%|
Prices of imported goods increased at a slower-than-expected pace last month, rising 0.3%, while exports rose 1.3% exceeding estimates.
In other economic data, the University of Michigan’s preliminary index of consumer sentiment last month fell to 70.2, down from 81.2 in June. The drop, which was one of the steepest on record, came amid concerns over inflation and the recent uptick in new coronavirus cases.
The sharp drop in confidence sparked a flight into the safety of U.S. Treasurys, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down 6.9 basis points to 1.297%, the lowest in a week.
In stocks, financials turned lower as the yield curve flattened amid economic concerns. Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. all underperformed.
|BAC||BANK OF AMERICA CORP.||41.63||-0.52||-1.23%|
|JPM||JPMORGAN CHASE & CO.||159.98||-1.81||-1.12%|
Elsewhere, Walt Disney Co. reported earnings and revenue that exceeded Wall Street estimates as its U.S. theme parks business returned to profitability. The entertainment giant’s Disney+ streaming service said the number of subscribers grew 12% versus a year ago.
|DIS||THE WALT DISNEY CO.||181.08||+1.79||+1.00%|
Airbnb Inc.’s net loss narrowed by 88% from a year ago as revenue and bookings exceeded analysts’ expectations. However, the online marketplace for lodging warned the delta variant could impact bookings for the fall.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he hopes production at the electric-vehicle maker’s Berlin Gigafactory will begin in October. However, Germany’s environmental agency has yet to give final approval, meaning the production ramp could be delayed to later this year or next year. He hobnobbed with candidates hoping to fill Chancellor Angela Merkel’s role.
In space news, shares of Virgin Galactic were in focus after Sir Richard Branson disclosed in an SEC filing, the sale of stock from Aug. 10-12 of this week selling “10,416,000 shares of Common Stock in a series of transactions at prices ranging from $25.51 to $34.76 per share in open market transactions on the New York Stock Exchange” the filing detailed. The total was worth over $300 million.
|SPCE||VIRGIN GALACTIC HOLDINGS INC.||25.37||-0.57||-2.20%|
In mergers and acquisitions, Kansas City Southern rejected a $27 billion offer from Canada Pacific Railway and said it would postpone a vote on a $29 billion deal with Canada National Railway Co. unless the regulators rule on “voting trust” of the transaction.
|KSU||KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN||292.66||+0.35||+0.12%|
|CP||CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY LTD.||72.55||-0.10||-0.14%|
|CNI||CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY CO.||107.44||-0.82||-0.76%|
In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil slid 65 cents to $68.44 a barrel and gold jumped $26.20 to $1,775.20 an ounce.
Overseas markets were mixed with strength in Europe and weakness in Asia.
European bourses were all higher with Germany’s DAX 30, Britain’s FTSE 100 and France’s CAC 40 all gaining between 0.2% and 0.4%.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.14%, China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.24% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 0.48%.