The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 aimed for another record on Friday, but struggled to sustain altitude after a report on consumer sentiment suggested consternation about the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus and its impact on economic growth.
Optimism about corporate earnings, including Walt Disney, whose shares were rallying after better-than-expected quarterly results, were helping to buoy the broader market. However, the Nasdaq Composite Index was under slight pressure in a week in which value-related investments have handily outperformed growth.
How are markets trading?
trading around 40 points, or 0.1%, higher at 35,538, after establishing an intraday record high at 35,610.57.
The S&P 500
rose 4 points, or 0.1%, to reach 4,464, following an intraday record at 4,468.37.
The Nasdaq Composite Index
traded off 2 points, or less than 0.1%, at 14,814, but had hit an intraday nadir at 14,797.22 and peak at 14,850.61.
Thursday marked the first time since Mar. 15, 2021 that both the Dow and S&P 500 closed at a record for three consecutive days. The Dow industrials closed up 14.88 points or 0.04% to 35499.85, the S&P 500 finished the day up 13.13 points or 0.30% to 4460.83, and the Nasdaq rose 51.13 points or 0.35% to 14816.26.
What’s driving the market?
The University of Michigan consumer-sentiment index fell sharply to 70.2 in August from 81.2 in prior month, marking the lowest level since April of 2020, and momentarily knocking the wind of the market’s bullish sails.
Richard Curtin, chief economist of the Surveys of Consumers, characterized the decline as a “stunning loss of confidence” in the first half of August, which was broad based.
Still, investors have been buying value-oriented shares, partly inspired by other economic data this week, such as tamer-than-estimated consumer price inflation and a fall in weekly jobless claims on Thursday, that helped to contribute to a third consecutive session of all-time closing highs for the S&P 500 and the Dow.
The iShares S&P 500 Value ETF
was up 1.3% this week, contributing to a 2.1% gain for the exchange-traded fund in August so far; while the growth-focused iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF
was seeing a weekly rise of 0.2% and was up 1.1% in the month to date, FactSet data show.
That trade came as the U.S. Senate this week passed a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure package with broad bipartisan support, putting it on track to possibly be passed by the House and be signed into law by President Joe Biden.
“News of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal has renewed hope for a solid few years of economic growth and re-ignited the momentum trade into cyclical stocks,” wrote Lindsey Bell, chief investment strategist at Ally Invest in a research note.
Financials, in particularly, were among the better performers among cyclicals, with the S&P 500’s financials sector
up 1.8% on the week.
“Weakening relative price trends are also apparent when reviewing the performance of the average technology stock as well as semiconductors, often a leading indicator for the sector,” wrote Truist Advisory Services’ Keith Lerner, chief market strategist.
“Conversely, after pulling back, we are seeing improved comparative price trends for some of the cyclical sectors, most notably financials, which we remain overweight; this is the largest sector in the value style,” he said.
The spread of the delta variant of coronavirus and its potential impact on the global economic recovery remains a lingering concern.
On Friday, markets also parsed international trade data, with U.S. import prices rising 0.3% in July after 1.1% gain in prior month.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration late Thursday authorized an extra COVID-19 shot for those with compromised immune systems, but didn’t confirm media reports that it would update emergency-use authorizations for the Pfizer
There were fresh concerns surrounding China, which has been battling to keep new Covid outbreaks under control. The partial closure of one of China’s biggest cargo ports due to new cases of Covid has raised fresh concerns about the impact of the pandemic on international trade.
“Those ripples won’t just be felt in China but also globally. The impact has been most noticeable in regional stock markets with a high beta to trade and China,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a note to clients.
Which companies are in focus?
Shares of Walt Disney Co.
climbed 5% in premarket, after the media and entertainment giant reported its strongest sales and profit since pre-pandemic and forecast-beating new subscriber numbers for its streaming service.
shares fell 19% in premarket trading, after the parent of e-commerce site Wish reported slowing demand for its products, less activity on its platform and higher-than-expected costs.
shares are down 3%, after the lodging-booking company said second-quarter revenue nearly quadrupled to $1.3 billion, beating analysts’ forecasts, but failed to give specific guidance.
shares fell 5%, after the online food-ordering group reported record order volume and total orders in the second quarter, but forecast weakness in the third quarter.
How are other assets faring?
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y was 6 basis points lower at 1.31%, but the benchmarks is up from 1.28% last Friday. Yields and debt prices move in opposite directions.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, was down 0.3% on the session but relatively flat to slightly lower on the week.
Oil futures edged lower, with the U.S. benchmark CL. 1 traded down 0.2% at $68.94 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, but was up around 1% on the week. Gold futures GC00 were trading 0.8% higher at $1,765.30 an ounce, and up 0.2% on the week.