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

Stocks finished 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 aproximatelly 0.5 %, even though the Dow finished simply a tick above the flatline. U.S. stocks shook off earlier declines after monitoring a drop in overseas equities, after new data showed that UK gross domestic product (GDP) slumped by a record 9.9 % in 2020 as a virus-induced recession swept the nation.

Shares of Dow component Disney (DIS) reversed earlier profits to fall more than 1 % and take back from a record extremely high, after the company posted a surprise quarterly benefit and produced Disney+ streaming subscribers much more than expected. Newly public company Bumble (BMBL), which set about trading on the Nasdaq on Thursday, rose another 7 % after jumping sixty three % in its public debut.

Over the older couple weeks, investors have absorbed a bevy of stronger than expected earnings benefits, with company earnings rebounding way quicker than expected despite the ongoing pandemic. With over eighty % of businesses these days having claimed fourth quarter outcomes, S&P 500 earnings per share (EPS) have topped estimates by 17 % in aggregate, and bounced back above pre COVID levels, according to an analysis by Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Golub.

good government action and “Prompt mitigated the [virus-related] injury, leading to outsized economic and earnings surprises,” Golub said. “The earnings recovery has been substantially more powerful than we might have thought possible when the pandemic for starters took hold.”

Stocks have continued to establish fresh record highs against this backdrop, and as monetary and fiscal policy assistance remain robust. But as investors become comfortable with firming corporate functionality, companies may need to top even bigger expectations in order to be rewarded. This can in turn put some pressure on the broader market in the near term, and warrant more astute assessments of individual stocks, in accordance with some strategists.

“It is actually no secret that S&P 500 performance continues to be extremely strong over the past several calendar years, driven mainly via valuation development. However, with the index P/E [price-to-earnings ratio] recently eclipsing its prior dot com extremely high, we believe that valuation multiples will begin to compress in the coming months,” BMO Capital Markets strategist Brian Belski wrote in a note Thursday. “According to the job of ours, strong EPS growth would be required for the next leg higher. Fortunately, that is exactly what current expectations are forecasting. But, we also discovered that these kinds of’ EPS-driven’ periods tend to be complicated from an investment strategy standpoint.”

“We believe that the’ easy cash days’ are more than for the time being and investors will need to tighten up the focus of theirs by evaluating the merits of specific stocks, instead of chasing the momentum laden strategies which have recently dominated the expense landscape,” he added.

4:00 p.m. ET: Stocks end higher, S&P 500 and Nasdaq reach history closing highs
Here is exactly where the key stock indexes finished 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’ will be the most cited Biden policy on corporate earnings calls: FactSet
Fourth-quarter earnings season marks the pioneer with President Joe Biden in the White House, bringing a new political backdrop for corporations to contemplate.

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

“In terms of government policies mentioned in conjunction with the Biden administration, climate change and energy policy (twenty eight), tax policy (20 ) and COVID-19 policy (nineteen) have been cited or perhaps reviewed by probably the highest number of companies with this point in time in 2021,” Butters wrote. “Of these twenty eight companies, 17 expressed support (or a willingness to the office with) the Biden administration on policies to reduce carbon as well as greenhouse gas emissions. These seventeen companies possibly discussed initiatives to reduce their very own carbon as well as greenhouse gas emissions or services or items they supply to support customers & customers reduce the carbon of theirs and greenhouse gas emissions.”

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

The list of 28 firms discussing climate change and energy policy encompassed businesses from a diverse array of industries, like JPMorgan Chase, United Airlines Holdings and 3M, alongside standard oil majors as Chevron.

11:36 a.m. ET: Stocks combined, S&P 500 and Nasdaq turn positive
Here’s where markets were 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 after August in February, according to the University of Michigan’s preliminary month to month survey, as Americans’ assessments of the road ahead for the virus-stricken economy unexpectedly grew a lot more grim.

The headline consumer sentiment index dipped to 76.2 from 79.0 in January, sharply missing expectations for a surge to 80.9, based on Bloomberg consensus data.

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

“Presumably a brand new round of stimulus payments will bring down fiscal hardships among those with probably the lowest incomes. Much more shocking was the finding that consumers, despite the expected passage of a grand stimulus bill, viewed prospects for the national economy less favorably in early February compared to last month,” he added.

9:30 a.m. ET: Stocks open lower, but pace toward posting weekly gains
Here’s in which markets were trading just 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 actually 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 10, 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 during $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. tiny cap inflows saw their third largest week at $5.6 billion.

Bank of America warned that frothiness is actually rising in markets, nonetheless, as investors keep on piling into stocks amid low interest rates, and hopes of a strong recovery for corporate profits and the economy. The firm’s proprietary “Bull and Bear Indicator” tracking 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
Here were the principle movements in markets, as of 7:16 a.m. ET Friday:

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

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

Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 13,711.25, printed 17.75 points or 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 where markets were trading Thursday as over night trading kicked off:

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

Dow futures (YM=F): 31,327.00, down thirty two points or even 0.1%

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