Stock market news: S&P 500 rises to a fresh history closing high

Stocks concluded higher on Friday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closing out the session at record levels.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq each rose about 0.5 %, while the Dow ended only a tick above the flatline. U.S. stocks shook off earlier declines after following a drop in overseas equities, after new data showed that UK gross domestic product (GDP) slumped by a report 9.9 % in 2020 as a virus induced recession swept the country.

Shares of Dow component Disney (DIS) reversed earlier profits to fall greater than 1 % and guide back from a record high, after the company posted a surprise quarterly profit and produced Disney+ streaming subscribers much more than expected. Newly public business Bumble (BMBL), which started trading on the Nasdaq on Thursday, rose another seven % after jumping 63 % in its public debut.

Over the past couple weeks, investors have absorbed a bevy of much stronger than expected earnings benefits, with company earnings rebounding way quicker than expected inspite of the ongoing pandemic. With over eighty % of businesses right now having reported fourth-quarter results, S&P 500 earnings per share (EPS) have topped estimates by seventeen % in aggregate, and bounced back above pre-COVID levels, based on an analysis by Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Golub.

good government activity and “Prompt mitigated the [virus-related] damage, leading to outsized economic and earnings surprises,” Golub said. “The earnings recovery has been substantially more powerful than we may have imagined when the pandemic first took hold.”

Stocks have continued to establish fresh record highs against this backdrop, and as fiscal and monetary policy support stay strong. But as investors become used to firming corporate functionality, companies might have to top even greater expectations in order to be rewarded. This may in turn put some pressure on the broader market in the near term, as well as warrant much more astute assessments of individual stocks, according to some strategists.

“It is no secret that S&P 500 performance continues to be extremely formidable over the past few calendar years, driven mostly via valuation development. Nonetheless, with the index P/E [price-to-earnings ratio] recently eclipsing its previous dot-com high, we think that valuation multiples will start to compress in the coming months,” BMO Capital Markets strategist Brian Belski wrote in a note Thursday. “According to the work of ours, strong EPS growth is going to be necessary for the following leg higher. Thankfully, that’s exactly what current expectations are forecasting. Nevertheless, we also discovered that these sorts of’ EPS-driven’ periods tend to become more challenging from an investment strategy standpoint.”

“We assume that the’ easy cash days’ are actually over for the time being and investors will have to tighten up the aim of theirs by evaluating the merits of individual stocks, instead of chasing the momentum laden strategies who have recently dominated the expense landscape,” he added.

4:00 p.m. ET: Stocks end higher, S&P 500 and Nasdaq reach report closing highs
Here’s where the key stock indexes ended the session:

S&P 500 (GSPC): +18.55 points (+0.47 %) to 3,934.93

Dow (DJI): +27.44 points (+0.09 %) to 31,458.14

Nasdaq (IXIC): +69.70 points (+0.5 %) to 14,095.47

2:58 p.m. ET:’ Climate change’ would be the most-cited Biden policy on company earnings calls: FactSet
Fourth-quarter earnings season signifies the pioneer with President Joe Biden in the White House, bringing the latest political backdrop for corporations to contemplate.

Biden’s policies around environmental protections as well as climate change have been the most cited political issues brought up on corporate earnings calls so far, according to an analysis from FactSet’s John Butters.

“In terms of government policies talked about in conjunction with the Biden administration, climate change and energy policy (28), tax policy (20 COVID-19 and) policy (19) have been cited or talked about by probably the highest number of companies through this point on time in 2021,” Butters wrote. “Of these 28 firms, seventeen expressed support (or a willingness to work with) the Biden administration on policies to reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. These 17 companies possibly discussed initiatives to reduce their own carbon and greenhouse gas emissions or perhaps services or goods they supply to assist customers and customers reduce the carbon of theirs and greenhouse gas emissions.”

“However, four businesses also expressed some concerns about the executive order starting a moratorium on new engine oil and gas leases on federal lands (and offshore),” he added.

The list of twenty eight firms discussing climate change and energy policy encompassed businesses from a broad array of industries, including JPMorgan Chase, United Airlines Holdings and 3M, alongside standard oil majors like Chevron.

11:36 a.m. ET: Stocks mixed, S&P 500 and Nasdaq turn positive
Here’s where marketplaces had been trading Friday intraday:

S&P 500 (GSPC): +7.87 points (+0.2 %) to 3,924.25

Dow (DJI): 8.77 points (-0.03 %) to 31,421.93

Nasdaq (IXIC): +28.15 points (+0.21 %) to 14,053.77

Crude (CL=F): +$0.65 (+1.12 %) to $58.89 a barrel

Gold (GC=F): +$0.20 (+0.01 %) to $1,827.00 per ounce

10-year Treasury (TNX): +2.7 bps to yield 1.185%

10:15 a.m. ET: Consumer sentiment unexpectedly plunges to a six-month lower in February: U. Michigan
U.S. consumer sentiment slid to the lowest level since August in February, based on the University of Michigan’s preliminary monthly survey, as Americans’ assessments of the path forward for the virus stricken economy suddenly grew more grim.

The title consumer sentiment index dipped to 76.2 from 79.0 in January, sharply missing expectations for an increase to 80.9, based on Bloomberg consensus data.

The entire loss in February was “concentrated in the Expectation Index and among households with incomes under $75,000. Households with incomes of the bottom third reported major setbacks in their current finances, with fewer of these households mentioning latest income gains than anytime since 2014,” Richard Curtin chief economist for the university’s Surveys of Consumers, said in a statement.

“Presumably a new round of stimulus payments will lessen fiscal hardships with those with the lowest incomes. More shocking was the finding that consumers, despite the likely passage of a massive stimulus bill, viewed prospects for the national economy less favorably in early February than more month,” he added.

9:30 a.m. ET: Stocks open lower, but speed toward posting weekly gains
Here is in which markets had been trading only after the opening bell:

S&P 500 (GSPC): 8.31 points (0.21 %) to 3,908.07

Dow (DJI): -19.64 (-0.06 %) to 31,411.06

Nasdaq (IXIC): 53.51 (+0.41 %) to 13,970.45

Crude (CL=F): -1dolar1 0.23 (-0.39 %) to $58.01 a barrel

Gold (GC=F): 1dolar1 10.70 (0.59 %) to $1,816.10 per ounce

10-year Treasury (TNX): +3.2 bps to yield 1.19%

9:05 a.m. ET: Equity funds see highest weekly inflows ever as investors pile into tech stocks: Bank of America
Stock funds just simply saw their largest-ever week of inflows for the period ended February ten, with inflows totaling a record $58.1 billion, according to Bank of America. Investors pulled a total of $800 million out of gold and $10.6 billion out of money throughout the week, the firm added.

Tech stocks in turn saw their own record week of inflows at $5.4 billion. U.S. large cap stocks saw the second largest week of theirs of inflows ever at $25.1 billion, and U.S. smaller cap inflows saw the third-largest week of theirs at $5.6 billion.

Bank of America warned that frothiness is actually rising in markets, however, as investors keep piling into stocks amid low interest rates, and hopes of a strong recovery for corporate profits and the economy. The firm’s proprietary “Bull as well as Bear Indicator” monitoring market sentiment rose to 7.7 from 7.5, nearing an 8.0 “sell” signal.

7:14 a.m. ET Friday: Stock futures point to a lower open
Below had been the main actions in markets, as of 7:16 a.m. ET Friday:

S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,904.00, down 8.00 points or perhaps 0.2%

Dow futures (YM=F): 31,305.00, down 54 points or perhaps 0.17%

Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 13,711.25, down 17.75 points or perhaps 0.13%

Crude (CL=F): 1dolar1 0.43 (-0.74 %) to $57.81 a barrel

Gold (GC=F): 1dolar1 9.50 (0.52 %) to $1,817.30 per ounce

10-year Treasury (TNX): +0.5 bps to deliver 1.163%

6:03 p.m. ET Thursday: Stock futures tick higher
Here’s in which markets were trading Thursday as overnight trading kicked off:

S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,904.50, printed 7.5 points or even 0.19%

Dow futures (YM=F): 31,327.00, down 32 points or perhaps 0.1%

Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 13,703.5, down 25.5 points or perhaps 0.19%

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