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Investor's Business Daily 25 June, 2021 - 10:07pm 30 views

S&P 500 climbs to another record led by bank shares, notches its best week since February

CNBC 25 June, 2021 - 09:10pm

U.S. stocks rose on Friday with the S&P 500 building on its rally to records, as investors bet that higher inflation will be temporary as the economy continues to recover from the pandemic.

The broad equity benchmark climbed 0.3% to hit another closing record high of 4,280.70. Financials were the best-performing S&P 500 sector with a 1.3% gain. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 237.02 points, or 0.7%, to 34,433.84, sitting less than 2% from its record. The Nasdaq Composite erased earlier gains and closed 0.1% lower at 14,360.39 amid a rise in bond yields. The 10-year Treasury yield jumped 4 basis points to 1.52%.

The S&P 500 rallied 2.7% for the week, notching its biggest weekly gain since early February. The Dow gained 3.4% this week for its best week since mid-March, while the Nasdaq advanced 2.4%.

Friday's rally came after a key inflation indicator that the Federal Reserve uses to set policy rose 3.4% in May, the fastest increase since the early 1990s, the Commerce Department reported Friday. The reading matched the expectation from economists polled by Dow Jones. The core index rose 0.5% for the month, which actually was below the 0.6% estimate.

The core personal consumption expenditures price index increase reflects the rapid pace of economic expansion and resulting price pressures, and amplified how far the nation has come since the pandemic-induced shutdown of 2020.

"This provided support to the Fed's argument that inflation is transitory and will help allay fears that we are witnessing runaway inflation," said Anu Gaggar, senior global Investment analyst at Commonwealth Financial Network. "This should continue to provide support to risk assets such as equities."

Bank shares jumped after the Federal Reserve announced the banking industry could easily withstand a severe recession. The Fed, in releasing the results of its annual stress test, said the 23 institutions in the 2021 exam remained "well above" minimum required capital levels during a hypothetical economic downturn. The decision cleared the way for the banks to raise dividends and buy back more stock, which was suspended during the pandemic.

Wells Fargo climbed 2.6%, while Fifth Third and PNC all gained over 2%. JPMorgan and Bank of America both rose more than 1%.

Nike's stock surged 15.5%, helping to boost sentiment for the Dow. The company reported earnings and revenue that blew past Wall Street estimates. Digital sales also jumped 41% since last year and 147% from two years ago.

On the flipside, FedEx dipped 3.6% despite beating on the top and bottom lines of its earnings. FedEx also gave a strong yearly outlook.

Friday saw heightened trading volume as FTSE Russell was set to rebalance its U.S. stock indexes at the market close. Bank of America estimated that more than $170 billion worth of shares would be changed hands as a result of 625 changes in total to Russell indexes, including the Russell 1000 and Russell 2000.

President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the White House struck an infrastructure deal with a bipartisan group of senators. The lawmakers have worked for weeks to craft a roughly $1 trillion package that could get through Congress with support from both parties. The framework will include $579 billion in new spending on transportation like roads, bridges and rail, electric vehicle infrastructure and electric transit, among other things.

The stock market came back from last week's swoon induced by worries about a tighter Federal Reserve. Last week, the Dow fell 3.5% and the S&P 500 shed 1.9% as the Fed moved up its timeline for interest-rate increases.

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S&P 500 joins Nasdaq with record closing high

Reuters 25 June, 2021 - 09:10pm

Stock market news live updates: S&P 500 sets record high, sees best weekly gain since February

Yahoo Finance 25 June, 2021 - 03:02pm

The S&P 500 reached an all-time high and rose just over 2.74% since last Friday for its best weekly performance since February. The Nasdaq erased earlier gains to dip into the red and end just below a record level. The Dow added more than 200 points after component Nike (NKE) jumped after posting quarterly sales growth that rebounded across all major regions. Meanwhile, FedEx (FDX) shares sank after even estimates-topping fiscal fourth-quarter results failed to wow Wall Street. Bitcoin prices (BTC-USD) pared losses to trade back above $32,000 after setting a five-month low of about $28,800 earlier this week.

Stocks extended gains from Thursday following President Joe Biden's announcement that he had reached an infrastructure agreement with a bipartisan group of senators. This helped catalyze a jump in cyclical shares including industrials and financials, with traders eying the additional federal spending on physical infrastructure and other initiatives.

The deal would include about $600 billion in new federal spending on investments for new roads, clean energy and other projects, and cost nearly $1 trillion in total over the next five years. It would be funded via provisions including stronger tax collections enforcements for the wealthy, and wireless spectrum auctions and strategic petroleum reserve sales. 

"The way we're thinking about it is, it has the positive side of the deal in terms of the equity market perspective: More spending on physical infrastructure, electric vehicles, 5G and broadband, without the tax increases which would have been a negative from the equity market perspective," Gabriela Santos, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, told Yahoo Finance. "This is certainly a positive especially for the more domestic, cyclical-heavy parts of the market, as well as parts of technology like semiconductors, which are more related to the 5G and the green theme." 

In a sign of the ongoing recovery still under way in the U.S., the Labor Department's weekly jobless claims report out Thursday morning showed a drop in new filings, even as the margin of improvement came in slightly weaker than expected. But in a sign of the ongoing inflationary pressures in the economy, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that core personal consumption expenditures (PCE), or the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge, rose by 3.4% in May over last year, marking the fastest increase since 1992. Treasury yields rose following the print, and the 10-year yield broke back above 1.53%. 

"We continue to like cyclical sectors, like industrials, financials and energy, and the possibility of a new spending bill is favorable for many of the companies in those sectors," Chris Zaccarelli, Chief Investment Officer for Independent Advisor Alliance, wrote in an email. "However, the general reopening of the economy and renewed, post-COVID-19 economic growth is the most likely driver going forward, regardless of whether or not additional proposed legislation becomes law."

Here's where the three major indexes ended Friday's session: 

S&P 500 (^GSPC): +14.3 (+0.34%) to 4,280.79

Dow (^DJI): +238.41 (+0.7%) to 34,435.23

Nasdaq (^IXIC): -9.32 points (-0.06%) to 14,360.39

Here's where markets were trading Friday afternoon:

S&P 500 (^GSPC): +12.24 (+0.29%) to 4,278.73

Dow (^DJI): +245.69 (+0.72%) to 34,442.51

Nasdaq (^IXIC): -7.03 points (-0.05%) to 14,362.56

Crude (CL=F): +$0.71 (+0.97%) to $74.01 barrel

Gold (GC=F): +$0.60 (+0.03%) to $1,777.30 per ounce

10-year Treasury (^TNX): +4.4 bps to yield 1.531%

With real GDP having grown 6.4% annualized in the first three months of 2021, the U.S. economy has pulled itself rapidly from the doldrums of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Overall, "the entire economy has less than 1% remaining to recover," with the economy expected to cross the "full-recover line and then some" in the current quarter, Michael Gregory, BMO Capital Markets deputy chief economist, said in a note.

The first-quarter rise in GDP was led by durable goods manufacturing, professional services, information technology and administrative and waste management services, which together accounted for half of growth in the quarter even while constituting less than a quarter of overall GDP, Gregory added. 

However, some specific areas, while posting impressive growth rates so far this year, still have a ways to go before fully reaching pre-pandemic levels of output. 

"In terms of straight growth rankings in Q1, among the six strongest sectors, joining the above four industries were arts, entertainment and recreation (at #1) and accommodation and food services (#3)," Gregory said. "Both these sectors were the hardest hit by the pandemic and related restrictions. But, despite posting economy-leading growth rates, they still have a long way to go before fully recovering… around 20% for accommodation and food services… 35% for arts, entertainment and recreation." 

Here's where markets were trading after the opening bell:

S&P 500 (^GSPC): +10.11 (+0.24%) to 4,276.55

Dow (^DJI): +177.81 (+0.52%) to 34,374.63

Nasdaq (^IXIC): +26.03 (+0.18%) to 14,395.32

Crude (CL=F): +$0.23 (+0.31%) to $73.53 a barrel

Gold (GC=F): +$11.50 (+0.65%) to $1,788.30 per ounce

10-year Treasury (^TNX): unchanged to yield 1.4870%

Inflationary pressures accelerated in May as the jump off last year's pandemic-depressed lows in prices, as well as supply and demand mismatches in the current economy, became more pronounced. 

Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) rose by 0.4% in May over April, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Friday. This was slightly slower than the 0.6% increase registered during the previous month month and the 0.5% rise expected, according to Bloomberg consensus data. Still, this marked a sixth straight monthly increase. 

Over last year, the broadest measure of PCE increased 3.9%, the fastest rise since 2008. This accelerated from a 3.6% increase in April.

Excluding food and energy prices, the so-called core PCE rise 3.4% in May over last year, accelerating from a 3.1% increase in April. This marked the fastest increase since 1992.

Personal income fell for a second straight month in May as a boost from federal pandemic-era assistance programs faded further, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis' monthly report.

Income fell 2.0% in May following a 13.1% drop in April, according to the bureau. Consensus economists were looking for a 2.5% drop, according to Bloomberg-compiled data.

Personal spending registered as unchanged in May, missing estimates for a 0.4% rise. This came following a 0.9% month-on-month increase in spending in April, which was revised up from the 0.5% increase previously reported.

The personal savings rate, or proportion of personal savings to overall disposable income, dipped to 12.4% in May from nearly 15% in April. This rate has come down precipitously from the pandemic-era high of more than 33% last spring, with consumers beginning to use their pent-up savings from over the course of the pandemic.

Here's where markets were trading ahead of the opening bell on Friday:

S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 4,260.25 +4.25 points (+0.1%)

Dow futures (YM=F): 34,181.00, +99 points (+0.29%)

Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 14,371.25, +17 points (+0.12%)

Crude (CL=F): -$0.16 (-0.22%) to $73.14 a barrel

Gold (GC=F): +$6.10 (+0.34%) to $1,782.80 per ounce

10-year Treasury (^TNX): +0.5 bps to yield 1.492%

Here's where markets were trading Thursday evening:

S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 4,260.00 +4 points (+0.09%)

Dow futures (YM=F): 33,190.00, +108 points (+0.32%)

Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 14,352.75, -1.50 points (-0.01%)

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were set for record highs at open on Friday, following robust earnings forecast from Nike, while weaker-than-expected inflation data eased worries about monetary policy tightening in the near term. Inflation has been front-and-center of investors' minds, with latest personal consumption expenditures (PCE) data showing a measure of underlying inflation rose less than expected in May. Core PCE rose 3.4% year-over-year, above the Fed's 2% flexible target.

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The S&P 500 ended the week at record high on Friday, lifted by Nike and several banks, while weaker-than-expected inflation data eased worries about a sudden tapering in stimulus by the Federal Reserve. Nike Inc surged 15.5% to an all-time high after the sneaker maker forecast fiscal full-year sales ahead of Wall Street estimates, helping the Dow lead among the three main indexes.

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The S&P 500 Is at New Highs. Here's What the Charts Say Happen Next.

Barron's 25 June, 2021 - 02:55pm

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The stock market is reaching new heights. More gains are now increasingly likely.

The S&P 500 had been essentially flat for more than a month heading into this week, but stocks got a big jolt on Thursday when a bipartisan group of lawmakers and the White House agreed to a $1 trillion infrastructure spending plan. If Congress approves it, that could provide a modest boost to economic growth. Assurances from Federal Reserve officials that the bank won’t raise interest rates until the economy is ready have added more fuel to stocks. 

The index closed Thursday at 4,266, passing the record of 4,255 set in mid June, and was poised for another record on Friday.

The new highs open the path to more modest gains, according to technical analysts at Instinet. “Yesterday’s close above 4,260 finally triggered that breakout, which targets 4,460,” wrote Frank Cappelleri, chief market technician at Instinet. A rise to 4,460 would amount to a gain of a bit more than 4% from Thursday’s closing level.

Others agree. The index could hit 4,400 by the end of the year as a result of the new recent highs, says John Kolovos, chief technical strategist at Macro Risk Advisors. 

But the ride higher may be bumpy because stocks’ gains have been concentrated in a few names, rather than broad-based. That could mean investors lack confidence in the market, or that the index could falter if those few names fall.

The Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight Exchange-Traded Fund (ticker: RSP), which weights each stock in the index equally, is up 1.3% in the past month. The standard S&P 500, which is more affected by moves in the shares of bigger companies, is up 2.3%—evidence that a few large-cap stocks have done much of the lifting.

“The longer the S&P 500 makes higher highs on poor breadth then the market will be vulnerable to shocks,” Kolovos says. 

This doesn’t mean the market can’t gain, but it does show investors will need strong stomachs to handle the volatility.

The stock market is reaching new heights.

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As rally in U.S. stocks rolls on, signs of caution grow

Yahoo Finance 25 June, 2021 - 01:28pm

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The S&P 500 shook off concerns about a more hawkish Federal Reserve to post a record high this week, but activity in some areas of the market indicates concern over potential volatility ahead of key economic data and corporate profit reports.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s embrace of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending deal has helped buoy indexes to fresh records, after worries that the Fed may unwind its easy money policies sooner than expected led to a brief swoon earlier this month. The benchmark S&P 500 is up about 14% this year after hitting a fresh record in the past week, as did the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Underneath the hood, however, there are signs of caution. Short interest in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust increased to its highest level this year since last week's Fed meeting, suggesting investors have been adding more downside protection, JP Morgan analysts said in a recent note.

At the same time, gains this month have been more concentrated, as investors piled back into the big technology stocks that led markets higher last year and for most of the past decade.

The benchmark S&P index, heavily weighted toward technology stocks, is up 1.8% this month, but the average S&P stock has lagged. The equal-weighted S&P 500 is up just 0.3% in June, which some investors view as a sign of waning confidence in the broader market.

“The market has maybe dodged a few scares and as we look ahead to the second half... there are probably some more risks ahead than there were a few months ago,” said James Ragan, director of wealth management research at D.A. Davidson.

Investor concerns include the debate about whether rising inflation will be sustained enough to force the Fed to begin a sooner-than-expected rollback of its easy-money policies. The Fed's main inflation measure posted its biggest annual increase since 1992, data showed Friday.

As business rebounds from the coronavirus pandemic, the second quarter is also expected to mark the peak for U.S. economic and corporate profit growth, which could bring market unease as growth slows.

Citigroup’s U.S. Economic Surprise Index, which measures the degree to which data is beating or missing forecasts, stands at 26.5, well off last year’s peak of 270.8, suggesting that the strength of the economic recovery is increasingly baked into estimates.

Some investors also believe the S&P may be overdue for a significant pullback. Since World War II, the index has had a decline of at least 5% an average of every 178 calendar days, according to Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA. The latest market advance has lasted 276 days without such a fall, the longest period since January 2018, when a 715-day advance was followed by a 10.8% drop for the S&P 500.

"There is not a lot of support beneath the surface so that leaves the market maybe a little more vulnerable to a news headline or a news scare,” said Willie Delwiche, an investment strategist with market research firm All Star Charts.

Next week’s focus will be on economic data, including reports on home prices, manufacturing and Friday’s closely-watched U.S. payrolls report for June. With inflation and the pace of the recovery on the minds of investors, a stronger-than-expected wage report could stoke worries over how the Fed will react. New York Fed president John Williams will speak on Monday, after several appearances in the past week.

To be sure, there are plenty of factors that suggest the backdrop for equities remains positive. S&P 500 earnings are expected to rise by about 37% this year and almost 12% next year, according to Refinitiv IBES. In the second quarter, for which reports will flood in starting in mid-July, earnings are expected to jump 65%.

Yields remain historically low, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield down to about 1.52% from 1.7% in mid-May, helping boost the allure of equities in comparison to other investments.

Still, only 47% of S&P 500 stocks stood above their 50-day moving averages as of Thursday's close, compared to 91% of stocks above that level when the index was making record highs in mid-April, according to Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at Truist Advisory Services. The average stock in the benchmark was 8.9% off its 52-week high.

“If you are not in the few stocks that are doing well, you may be doing much worse than the benchmark index,” Lerner said.

(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf, additional reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Editing by Ira Iosebashvili, Nick Zieminski and David Gregorio)

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were set for record highs at open on Friday, following robust earnings forecast from Nike, while weaker-than-expected inflation data eased worries about monetary policy tightening in the near term. Inflation has been front-and-center of investors' minds, with latest personal consumption expenditures (PCE) data showing a measure of underlying inflation rose less than expected in May. Core PCE rose 3.4% year-over-year, above the Fed's 2% flexible target.

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