Trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average hit fresh all-time highs on Friday as both indexes capped off modest gains for the week.
The Dow finished the day up 15.53 points to close at a record 35,515.38, while the S&P 500 added 0.16% and finished at 4,468.00, a new closing record. The Nasdaq Composite ticked up just 0.04% to 14,822.90.
Shares of Disney jumped 1% after it reported blowout fiscal third-quarter earnings, helping pushing the Dow to a new record. The media giant crushed Wall Street expectations on Disney+ subscriber growth and overall revenue and earnings.
Among the S&P sectors, consumer staples and utilities outperformed as Tyson Foods added 2.3% and NRG Energy rose 1.3%. Energy and industrials again underperformed with Diamondback Energy down 4.7% and United Rentals retreating 2.2%. Ebay shares added 7.4%.
The blue-chip Dow and the S&P 500 rounded out the week with muted gains of 0.8% and 0.7%, respectively, amid light summertime trading volumes. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite underperformed this week, down just under 0.1%.
“The SPX continues to grind higher amid mixed economic data and a lack of consensus among Fed speakers as to when to begin tapering,” wrote JPMorgan’s Andrew Tyler. “The bull case remains intact despite factor/sector leadership remaining inconsistent.”
Investors digested mixed economic data.
The University of Michigan’s sentiment read for August printed at just 70.2, the weakest since December 2011. BMO Capital Markets strategist Ian Lyngen said that the low reading reflects not only higher prices, but also the uptick in the delta variant case count.
The university’s report said, “Consumers have correctly reasoned that the economy’s performance will be diminished over the next several months, but the extraordinary surge in negative economic assessments also reflects an emotional response, mainly from dashed hopes that the pandemic would soon end.”
On Thursday, the Labor Department said weekly jobless claims came in at 375,000 last week, matching estimates and declining for a third straight week. Meanwhile, the producer price index, excluding volatile food, trade services and energy components, rose 0.9% last month versus a forecast for a 0.5% gain.
“The hot PPI/home price figures took some of the sheen off the Wed CPI-induced ‘inflation has peaked party’ and this spurred very modest profit taking in cyclical groups following two days of outperformance,” Adam Crisafulli, founder of Vital Knowledge, said in a note.
Stocks are rising to records on the back of a stellar earnings season.
Year-over-year earnings growth is expected to be 92.9%, according to Refinitiv. So far about 90% of the S&P 500 companies have handed in their quarterly report, and about 88% of them beat earnings estimates from Wall Street analysts, according to Refinitiv.