The major U.S. stock averages the Dow and the S&P 500 hit fresh record highs on Friday, but the broad market remains somewhat sluggish in lackluster trade.
Data showing a significant drop in U.S. consumer sentiment in August appears to be weighing on sentiment and prompting traders to stay away on the sidelines.
With just about an hour to go for the closing bell, the market looks headed for a roughly flat close.
The Dow is down 14.16 points or 0.04 percent at 35,485.75, after hitting a fresh record high of 35,610.57 earlier in the session. The S&P 500, which rose to 4,468.37, is up 2.17 points or 0.05 percent at 4,462.90. The Nasdaq is down 11.65 points or 0.08 percent at 14,804.61.
Walt Disney shares are up sharply thanks to better-than-expected quarterly earnings and a strong growth of its customer base. Salesforce.com is gaining nearly 1.5 percent on strong results.
Microsoft, Netflix and Prizer are faring well. Shares of Airbnb are weak after the company reported a drop in bookings due to the pandemic.
DoorDash shares are down after the company reported wider loss in the second-quarter.
Boeing, American Express, JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs are down 1 to 1.6%.
The University of Michigan’s preliminary report said U.S. consumer sentiment slumped to 70.2 in August 2021, from 81.2 in the previous month and well below market expectations of 81.2. It was the lowest reading since December 2011,
Data from the Labor Department showed U.S. import prices rose by 0.3% in July after surging up by a revised 1.1% in June. Economists had expected import prices to climb by 0.6% in July compared to the 1% jump originally reported for the previous month.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said export prices shot up by 1.3% in July following a 1.2% leap in the previous month. Export prices were expected to increase by 0.8%.
In overseas trading, European stocks closed higher on Friday, extending gains to a tenth successive session, amid continued optimism about corporate earnings, easing worries about U.S. inflation and hopes about global economic recovery.
The pan European Stoxx 600 gained 0.21%, hitting a fresh high in the process, and extending gains to a fourth straight week. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.35%, Germany’s DAX advanced 0.25%, France’s CAC 40 gained 0.2% and Switzerland’s SMI moved up 0.28%.
Asian stocks ended mixed on Friday, with the spread of the delta variant coronavirus and China’s regulatory curbs keeping underlying sentiment cautious. Investors also digested the news that the Chinese government has unveiled a five-year and 10-point plan outlining tighter regulation of much of its economy.
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