Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stocks climbed higher on Friday and posted weekly gains, as a solid start to the corporate earnings season helped investors brush aside fears about a global trade rift. Stocks have shown resilience in recent weeks, even as the U.S. and China have ramped up punitive trade measures on each other that some analysts fear could hurt global growth. The S&P 500 dipped midweek after the White House said it would assess 10% tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese goods-although it then rebounded Thursday as technology shares rallied. Investors say signs of strength in the U.S. economy are helping them remain cautiously optimistic about the nine-year stock rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 95 points, or 0.4%, to 25019 on Friday. The S&P 500 added 0.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite advanced less than 0.1%, notching a fresh closing high. For the week, the Dow industrials were up 2.3%, while the S&P 500 was up 1.5% and the Nasdaq was up 1.8%. Corporate news drove swings in individual stocks throughout the week, propelling shares of industrial, technology and consumer discretionary firms up more than 2% apiece in the S&P 500. The US gold price lost 0.5% to finish at 1241 US$/oz
European stocks ended slightly higher, extending their weekly gains as concerns over a potential global trade war remained on the back burner and investors instead focused on a raft of prominent bank earnings out of the U.S. The Stoxx Europe 600 index ended 0.2% higher at 385.03, pushing the benchmark 0.7% higher for the week. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 0.1% to 7,661.87. France's CAC 40 index rose 0.4% to 5,429.20, and Germany's DAX 30 index tacked on 0.4% to close at 12,540.73.
In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.2% and Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.9%. The yen has fallen to its lowest point in dollar terms since January, which tends to boost Japanese exporters. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2%.
Australian stocks finished a muted week with a whimper, underperforming in Asia-Pacific again while the S&P/ASX 200 edged into positive territory this afternoon. But a late drop left it with a 0.1-point gain to 6268.4, falling 3.9 points for the week after hitting a fresh 10 1/2-year closing high on Monday. A 2% jump in CSL and 3.2% rally by Cochlear helped health care rise 1.45% today, but that was countered by broad weakness among the banks and a third-straight decline for BHP Billiton. Financials fell 0.3% for the week as the major banks surrendered some of their recent rebound.
Base metal prices were mixed on the London Metal Exchange. The 3-month copper contract gained 0.1% to 6,217/t, while tin gained 0.6% at 19,858/t. Aluminium lost 1.2% to end at 2,066/t, as nickel retreated 1.5% to 13,881/t. Lead was 0.4% lower to close at 2,184/t.
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