Thursday August 9th

9-08-2018

Nasdaq posts first 5-day winning streak since May, Facebook rises more than 4%

Stocks rose on Monday, led by gains in Facebook, as investors continued to bet on technology stocks as they pored through more corporate earnings results. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.6 percent to 7,859.68 as Facebook shares gained 4.5 percent, their biggest one-day rise since April. The tech-heavy index also posted a five-day winning streak, its longest since May. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 39.60 points to close at 25,502.18, led by gains in Disney. The S&P 500rose 0.4 percent to 2,850.40, as tech and consumer discretionary outperformed. Facebook rose on reports that the social media giant is in talks with banks to incorporate users' financial information into Messenger. Berkshire Hathaway posted stronger-than-forecast quarterly profit on Friday, sending its Class B shares up by 3 percent. Cardinal Health and Tyson Foods reported better-than-expected corporate earnings before the bell. Shares of Tyson Foods rose more than 3 percent, but Cardinal Health's stock slipped 0.5 percent. Jacobs Engineering shares spiked 7.8 percent higher on better-than-forecast earnings and were the best performers in the S&P 500. "The positive surprises in the earnings season are strong and that's helping the overall sentiment in the market," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. The biggest takeaway from this earnings season is that "tax cuts were clearly a positive for the bottom line but ... the top line has also been good." This earnings season has been stronger than analysts had expected. Of the S&P 500 companies that had reported through Friday, 80 percent have posted better-than-expected profits, according to FactSet. If that number stays there or moves above 80 percent, it would be the highest percentage of companies to beat expectations since FactSet started tracking the data in 2008. Investors came into this earnings season with high hopes as FactSet had forecast year-over-year profits to grow by 20 percent in the second quarter. So far, second-quarter earnings have grown by 24 percent through Friday. "Stocks are being bolstered by strong economic fundamentals that have driven earnings above elevated expectations," said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird. While corporate earnings remain strong, there continues to be investor concern over trade, monetary policy and the mid-term elections." A senior Trump administration official told CNBC that the White House is not ruling out slapping auto tariffs on Canada. The suggestion comes as NAFTA negotiations continue with Canada on the sidelines. It also comes as President Donald Trump is considering raising proposed tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent. Late last week, China said it was ready to retaliate with tariffs on around $60 billion worth of U.S. goods, amid a mounting trade war. Beijing added that import taxes would be within the range of 5 percent to 25 percent in rates, with many of the goods listed linked to agriculture. The Federal Reserve is expected to raise rates twice more this year. Last week, the U.S. central bank kept rates unchanged but upgraded its view of the economy to "strong." The Fed's upgraded view on the economy comes after the Commerce Department said the U.S. economy expanded by 4.1 percent in the second quarter. It also came days before the Labor Department released solid data on the labor market. Equities came into Monday's session after posting weekly gains last week. The S&P 500 and Dow rose 0.8 percent and 0.1 percent last week, respectively, and notched their fifth straight weekly gain. The Nasdaq Composite gained nearly 1 percent last week. PepsiCo announced Monday that CEO Indra Nooyi will step down from her post after 12 years. President Ramon Laguarta will succeed Nooyi as the next chief executive. PepsiCo shares rose 0.9 percent. Asia markets traded mostly higher on Thursday with Chinese mainland indexes rising more than 1 percent. The Shanghai composite rose 50.64 points, or 1.85 percent, to 2,794.71 and the Shenzhen composite added 38.93 points, or 2.66 percent, to 1,505.63. Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 45.92 points, or 0.2 percent, to 22,598.39 and the Topix index was down 4.55 points, or 0.26 percent, at 1,740.16. South Korea's Kospi rose 2.26 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,303.71 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 0.89 percent in late afternoon trade. Oil prices recouped some of the previous day's steep losses on Thursday, supported by renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran, but the escalating China-U.S. trade dispute has hit confidence in crude demand. International benchmark Brent crude futures were up 52 cents at $72.80 per barrel by 10:32 a.m. ET (1432 GMT), after having lost more than 3 percent on Wednesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 29 cents to $67.23 a barrel, having closed down 3.2 percent the day before. Gold steadied on Thursday after two sessions of gains as a stronger dollar index weighed on upside momentum, though the precious metal took some comfort from a steadier yuan. Spot gold was flat at $1,213.91 an ounce, having gained 0.2 percent in the previous session. U.S. gold futures for December delivery were also flat at $1,221.50.