The NASDAQ on Friday jumped more than 1 percent, powered by strong earnings from some of the largest US companies, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 finished with smaller gains as uncertainty about the government’s next round of COVID-19 aid kept economic worries on the radar.
Apple Inc shares surged 10.5 percent to close at a record US$425.04 in the wake of blowout quarterly results and a four-for-one stock split announcement.
Amazon.com Inc gained 3.7 percent after posting its biggest profit ever, while Facebook Inc jumped 8.2 percent after the social media platform blew past revenue expectations.
Google parent Alphabet Inc fell 3.3 percent though, the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ, as it posted the first quarterly sales dip in its 16 years as a public company.
“The results were just fabulous, just so strong,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York. “These are extremely profitable companies and they produce products that people want.”
The four companies are among the top five in market capitalization, representing about 20 percent of the S&P 500’s total.
Apple’s gain pushed it ahead of Saudi Arabian Oil Co as the world’s most valuable public company, Refinitiv data showed.
The White House and the Democrats were still negotiating relief aid for the COVID-19 pandemic, but were not yet on a path toward reaching a deal, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, hours before a federal unemployment benefit expired.
“It seems like they are far apart and supposedly they are working at it and there is a lot of name calling, and as usual, there is a lot of bad blood between these two parties and they have to come to some compromise, clearly, but they are not there, that’s for sure,” Ghriskey said.
The Dow Jones rose 114.67 points, or 0.44 percent, to 26,428.32, the S&P 500 gained 24.9 points, or 0.77 percent, to 3,271.12 and the NASDAQ Composite added 157.46 points, or 1.49 percent, to 10,745.27.
It was a choppy session with each major index up and down. The Dow at one point fell more than 1 percent.
In late trade, stocks moved higher into the close as Microsoft Corp shares pared losses of more than 2 percent after reports the company was said to be in talks to buy video app TikTok.
Kansas City Southern also provided a late boost, ending the session 9.7 percent higher after the Wall Street Journal reported a group of buyout investors were considering a takeover bid for the rail operator.
The benchmark index is now about 3.4 percent shy of its February all-time high, but faltering macroeconomic data and rising COVID-19 cases in the US were making investors cautious again.
Still, the S&P notched its fourth weekly gain in the past five weeks and saw a fourth straight month of gains, with a lift from massive fiscal and monetary stimulus measures to buttress the US economy.
For the week, the S&P gained 1.73 percent, the Dow shed 0.16 percent and the NASDAQ climbed 3.69 percent. For the month, the S&P rose 5.52 percent, the Dow advanced 2.39 percent and the NASDAQ rallied 6.83 percent.
Energy stocks were the worst performing among the 11 major S&P sectors after Chevron Corp reported a US$8.3 billion loss on asset writedowns and ExxonMobil Corp recorded a second consecutive quarterly loss.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
‘ONE-STOCK SHOW’: Turnover hit an all-time high as TSMC continued to determine the local market’s direction and surpassed Visa in market capitalization The TAIEX early yesterday hit an all-time intraday high on the back of soaring Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) shares, before tumbling back to the previous day’s close as the contract chipmaker could not single-handedly prop up the index. The TAIEX rose more than 400 points in the first 20 minutes of trading to hit a record 13,031.7 points, but later pared its gains to close down 0.01 percent at 12,586.73. Turnover was NT$343.252 billion (US$11.63 billion), the highest in the Taiwan Stock Exchange’s history. TSMC continued to dictate the market’s direction, as its early surge by the daily
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MediaTek Inc (聯發科) has hired a former US Department of Commerce official to help it navigate worsening US-China tensions that have already ensnared its customer Huawei Technologies Co (華為). Patrick Wilson, who most recently served as director of the department’s Office of Business Liaison, has been appointed vice president of government affairs at MediaTek USA to lead its public policy initiatives, the chip designer said in a draft press statement seen by Bloomberg News. Wilson previously worked at the Semiconductor Industry Association, where he led the trade group’s dealings with the US federal government. Technology companies with ties to or operations in China