After returning to record territory last Friday, the S&P 500 headed even higher this week, adding 0.9% in total. The tech-heavy Nasdaq outperformed, adding 2.1%, and the Dow also advanced, tacking on 0.7%.
Investors dealt with a flurry of trade-related headlines this week, especially in regards to NAFTA negotiations.
The U.S. and Mexico reached a bilateral trade deal on Monday, a headline that sent Wall Street to new all-time highs. Canada then entered the discussions to try to work out a deal with the United States, but the two sides weren’t able to reach an agreement by President Trump’s Friday deadline. However, the White House said late on Friday that talks will resume next week.
In other trade-related news, Wall Street registered its only loss of the week on Thursday following reports that President Trump wants to move forward with tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods as early as next week. In addition, the president said in a Bloomberg interview that the EU’s offer to eliminate auto tariffs does not go far enough and compared the EU’s trade policies to those of China.
Meanwhile, on the earnings front, investors once again received quarterly results from a number of retailers this week, including results from well-known companies like Dollar General (DG), Best Buy (BBY), lululemon athletica (LULU), Dollar Tree (DLTR), Ulta Beauty (ULTA), Tiffany & Co (TIF), and Burlington Stores (BURL).
The results came in mostly better-than-expected, but guidance was more mixed, leaving the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) with a modest weekly gain of 0.3%.
Away from earnings, Amazon (AMZN) climbed to new records and crossed the $2000 mark for the first time ever after Morgan Stanley raised its target price for the online retail giant to $2500 – a new Street high. Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL) also hit new records, helped by investing legend Warren Buffett, who said he’s recently bought more shares of the world’s largest tech company.
Tesla (TSLA) also made headlines, moving lower after its CEO, Elon Musk, announced that he’s abandoned plans to take the electric automaker private.
As for the sector standings, seven groups finished the week in the green and four groups finished in the red. The top-performing sectors were technology (+2.0%), consumer discretionary (+1.8%), and health care (+1.0%). Conversely, telecoms (-1.7%), consumer staples (-0.5%), and utilities (-0.6%) finished at the back of the pack.
Also of note, there were some important pieces of economic data released this week, including the second estimate of Q2 GDP (revised upward to 4.2%) and the July reading of the core inflation PCE index (rose 0.2%), which is the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation. Neither report elicited much response from the stock market though.
With August now in the books, it still appears very likely that the Fed will raise rates at its September meeting, with the CME FedWatch Tool placing the chances at 98.4%.
Source: Briefing Investor