Dow on Track for 7th Straight Winning Session as Stocks Rise Broadly
U.S. stocks rose modestly Friday morning, with the Dow looking to post its longest winning streak since late last year, with few economic reports on inflation or the economy deterring Wall Street from tentatively buying assets perceived as risky.
However, a modest decline in the technology sector, which has been leading the overall market of late, weighed on the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, early in the session.
What are markets doing?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA rose about 100 points, or 0.4%, to 24,838. If the blue-chip average were to end in positive territory, that would mark its seventh straight positive session, its longest winning streak since the one that ended the week of Nov. 8, 2017.
The S&P 500 SPX rose 6 points, or 0.2%, to 2,728. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP dipped 1 point to 7,404. The tech-heavy index is coming off a fifth straight positive session, its longest such streak since February.
For the week, the Dow is up 2.4%, the S&P 500 is up 2.4% and the Nasdaq is up 2.7%.
What is driving the markets?
Cooler U.S. consumer prices helped propel stocks Thursday, while lower bond yields and a weak dollar also lent a hand. Meanwhile, Wall Street’s so-called “fear gauge” has been falling for the past five sessions, tapping its lowest level since late January.
On Friday, the import price index rose 0.3% in April because of the higher cost of oil. This was softer than the 0.5% gain expected by economists surveyed by Econoday. Excluding fuel, import prices rose 0.2% last month. The initial University of Michigan consumer sentiment index was unchanged at 98.8 in May.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said that after being dislocated over the past decade, suppliers of labor, or households, are now on the same footing as employers. He also said the U.S. wasn’t in any danger of a breakout of inflation, but that he was worried the yield curve could invert as soon as September. Inverted yield curves, or the gap between the 2-year and 10-year Treasury notes, often precede recessions.
What are strategists saying?
“We’ve been in a broad trading range, but we’ve broken out of the downtrend that we had been seeing, thanks to some strong earnings and bond yields that have remained stable below 3%. This has put us back into a neutral positive for the year,” said Donald Selkin, chief market strategist at Newbridge Securities.
“Recent data on consumer prices and producer prices have also supported the market, as they’ve cooled investors on the idea that we might be seeing runaway inflation.”
What stocks are in focus?
The Trade Desk Inc. TTD jumped 35% after the platform for managing digital-ad campaigns blew out earnings forecasts. It reported that streaming TV advertising surged nearly 2,000% over the year in the first quarter.
Shares of Nvidia Corp. NVDA fell 2% after the chip maker’s shares fell in late trade, even after the company reported results and an outlook that topped Wall Street’s view. The stock was one of the bigger drags on the overall technology space, and it also weighed on other chip makers. Advanced Micro Devices AMD fell 2.1%.
Dropbox Inc. DBX slipped 3% after the cloud-storage company beat earnings and sales forecasts, but results weren’t as blowout as Wall Street would have liked.
Shares of PPG Industries Inc. PPG fell 1.2% after the paint maker fired its controller and reassigned employees as it said it found additional accounting errors worth millions.
Drug stocks could be active ahead after the administration of President Donald Trump is expected to make a speech on drug prices on Friday.
What are other markets doing?
Asian markets finished the week mostly higher, except for a 0.3% drop for the Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP while European stocks SXXP were pushing toward a seventh-straight weekly win.
Oil futures were mostly lower, with West Texas Intermediate crude CLM8 off 0.2% to $71.20 a barrel, but still poised to gain 2% for the week.
The dollar DXY was down 0.2% to 92.469, while gold GCM8 inched higher.