The US stock market rose to a record high on Wall Street on Friday, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 35,000 for the first time as the market continued to recover from the brief downturn at the beginning of the week.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 44.31, or 1%, to 4,411.79, a record high at the beginning of last week. The Dow rose 238.20, or 0.7%, to 35,061.55, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 152.39, or 1%, to 14,836.99.
All three indexes have gained more than 1% this week, completely setting aside the 1.6% drop of the S&P 500 on Monday.
This decline is due to concerns that the economy may slow down sharply due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus. But the Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed for four consecutive days after that, because large companies reported better-than-expected profits and investors once again saw any decline in the stock market as an opportunity to buy low.
The economy continues to recover at an extremely rapid rate. The question is how much growth will slow down in the coming months and years. A preliminary report released by IHS Markit on Friday showed that the growth of the US manufacturing industry may accelerate unexpectedly in July, but the slowdown in the growth of the service industry seems to have exceeded economists’ expectations.
After the report was released, the 10-year US Treasury yield gave up some of its gains, but it still rose to 1.27% from 1.26% late Thursday. For several months, as the economy has fallen from a high of about 1.75% in late March, it has been issuing worrying alarms about the economy. But except for Monday’s sudden downturn, the S&P 500 index mostly continued to rise.
Human resources provider Robert Half International rose 7.4%, becoming one of the S&P 500’s biggest gains on Friday, after the company’s latest quarterly revenue and profit exceeded Wall Street’s expectations. The company said that demand for its services has seen a broad acceleration in global growth.
It led a broad rebound in the entire market, with more than 80% of the stocks in the S&P 500 rising. After Twitter’s results exceeded Wall Street’s forecast for ad demand growth, communications stocks led the rise. It climbed 3%. Snap, the parent company of social media app Snapchat, soared 23.8% after reporting much better-than-expected results.
Such surprises have become the norm in this reporting season. About a quarter of the S&P 500 index constituent companies’ profit reports, nearly 90% of which exceeded Wall Street’s already high expectations for the spring.
According to FactSet’s data, the second-quarter earnings of the companies in the index are expected to increase by approximately 74% over the same period last year. This will be the strongest growth since the economy broke out from the Great Recession at the end of 2009.
Concerns about inflation have been increasing, and inflation has soared recently. But the company can still maintain profits, usually by raising its own prices.
According to data from FactSet, S&P 500 companies seem to say that for every $1,000 sold, they can make a profit of $124. This will be a slight drop from the US$128 in the first three months of this year, but it will still be easily higher than the average of US$108 over the past five years.
American Express rose 1.3% after the release of its quarterly profit report, which showed a surge in revenue due to increased customer spending in restaurants, stores and entertainment venues.
It was Intel that was at a loss, and despite its solid earnings in the second quarter, the company’s stock price fell. It dropped by 5.3%.
Shares of Boston Beer Co, which brews Samuel Adams, fell 26% due to concerns about poor sales of hard soda.
Infrastructure Capital Management CEO Jay Hatfield said that as Wall Street looks ahead to 2021 and next year, a key concern remains the possibility of “stagflation.” That was when inflation continued to rise and economic growth stagnated. Most analysts expect that economic growth will continue to slow as the coronavirus pandemic subsides and the US government and the Federal Reserve ease support.
“How do we go from rapid growth to stagflation, and how do you price it?” Hatfield asked. “This is a key unresolved issue.”
In European stock markets, the index also rose by about 1%. Asian stock markets were mixed, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index falling 1.4% and South Korea’s KOPSI index rising 0.1%.