Market Update & Important Indicators:
The S&P 500 edged lower Friday, but notched a gain for the week as corporate earnings continued to drive some of the biggest moves. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 32 points, or 0.2%, to 21580. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite declined less than 0.1%. Friday's declines end the Nasdaq's 10-session winning streak, the tech-heavy index's longest such streak since February 2015. Technology shares have notched fresh milestones this week, with the S&P 500's best-performing sector this year continuing to attract investors for its ability to increase earnings amid soft economic growth. On Wednesday, the information technology sector set a new all-time high for the first time in almost 20 years. Despite a 0.1% decline Friday, it still sits at levels not seen since the dot-com boom. With U.S. stocks resting near records, many analysts and investors say robust corporate earnings and forecasts will need to continue to help push major indexes even higher. The U.S. gold price had a strong gain to end the week, jumping 0.8% to finish at 1,254.50 US$/oz.
European stocks suffered their worst daily fall in three weeks Friday, weighed by strength in the euro, as the flow of corporate quarterly results failed to provide a lift. The Stoxx Europe 600 was slammed lower by 1% to 380.16. Industrial, tech and the oil-and-gas sector put in particularly weak performances, as crude-oil prices slumped and as the enthusiasm for technology shares cooled following a sharp, recent rebound for that sector. The Stoxx 600 ended the week with a 1.9% decline overall. Friday's fall represents the worst single-session decline for the pan-European equity gauge since June 29, 2017, according to FactSet data. Meanwhile, London's FTSE 100 notched 1% advance for the week.
Equities across the Asia-Pacific region were mostly lower on Friday. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average ended 0.2% lower, China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 0.1%. India’s Sensex added around 0.4% on Friday.
Australian shares retreated Friday, pulled lower by mining and energy companies and as major banks faltered after recent gains. Snapping a run higher the last two days, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 38.7 points, or 0.7%, to settle at an almost two-week low of 5722.8. For the week, the index was down 0.7%, leaving it flat so far in July. After strengthening on Thursday following production updates from several oil and gas producers and with a rise in crude prices, the sector pulled back on the final day of the week after oil prices pulled back from a seven-week high overnight. The materials sector also weakened with falls in iron-ore and base metals prices. Each of the big banks stumbled Friday, letting go of some of the strong gains of the last two days after the industry regulator's rules on capital targets proved less onerous than feared and gave the lenders until 2020 to boost capital ratios.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract gained 0.76% overnight to close at $6,004/t. All other base metals finished mostly higher. Lead prices rose 1.3% to 2,212/t, nickel prices rose 0.3% to 9,469/t, tin prices rose 1.1% to 20,440/t, whilst zinc prices also rose 1.1% at 2,748/t. Aluminium prices finished flat at 1,892/t.
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