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Stocks Rise for 7th Day                05/26 16:29

   U.S. stocks made the tiniest of gains Friday as media companies and sellers 
of beauty products and food ticked higher. Major indexes added to their winning 
streak and record highs.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks made the tiniest of gains Friday as media 
companies and sellers of beauty products and food ticked higher. Major indexes 
added to their winning streak and record highs.

   Stocks spent the day flipping back and forth between small gains and losses. 
Beauty products maker Ulta rose after a strong first-quarter report and 
competitor and Coty climbed as well. Media companies including Comcast and 
Disney also advanced while video game and drug companies slipped. The market 
has been steady in recent months, and with investors looking forward to the 
Memorial Day holiday Monday, trading was light.

   It was the seventh gain in a row for the Standard & Poor's 500 index and 
Nasdaq composite following their biggest loss this year.

   "Investors have been conditioned over multiple years to buy the dip any time 
there's a market pullback," said Jason Draho, the head of American tactical 
asset allocation for UBS Wealth Management. He said that's one reason stocks 
have been so steady lately.

   The S&P 500 index added 0.75 points to 2,415.82. The Dow Jones industrial 
average dipped 2.67 points to 21,080.28. The Nasdaq composite rose 4.94 points, 
or 0.1 percent, to 6,210.19. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks 
fell 1.14 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,382.24.

   Some of the market's biggest moves were based on company earnings, and many 
of those came from consumer-focused companies. Ulta Beauty gained $9.36, or 3.1 
percent, to $302.40. Costco Wholesale rose $3.13, or 1.8 percent, to $177.86 
after the warehouse club had a strong quarter as sales and member payments both 
increased.

   Uggs maker Deckers Outdoor turned in earnings that were stronger than 
expected, and its stock gained $10.64, or 18.8 percent, to $67.21.

   GameStop's first-quarter results were stronger than analysts expected, but 
sales of new software and wireless devices were disappointing. The stock gave 
up $1.40, or 5.9 percent, to $22.22. Video game publishers also fell. 
Activision Blizzard lost 94 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $58.28 and Electronic 
Arts slid $1.70, or 1.5 percent, to $112.13. Take-Two Interactive Software shed 
$1.46, or 1.9 percent, to $77.07.

   The VIX, an index that is called Wall Street's "fear gauge" because it 
measures how much volatility investors expect, fell for the seventh day in a 
row. After a huge spike last Wednesday, the 27-year-old index is trading near 
all-time lows. It sank to 9.81 Friday. The only time it was lower was late 
December 1993.

   The Commerce Department said the U.S. economy grew 1.2 percent in the first 
quarter, which was still weak but better than it originally estimated. Draho, 
of UBS Wealth Management, said that when the economy is steady, the market 
usually is, too.

   The U.S. economy and stock market have both been moving up for eight years. 
Draho said that as a bull market gets older, stocks don't move in the same 
direction as often. When one stock or one sector rises and another falls, that 
makes the overall market flatter and less volatile.

   Crude oil prices bounced back from a sharp drop the day before. Benchmark 
U.S. crude rose 90 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $49.80 a barrel in New York. Brent 
crude, the international standard, added 69 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $52.15 a 
barrel in London.

   On Thursday a group of 24 nations including the OPEC countries agreed to a 
nine-month extension of a cut in oil production. But energy companies, which 
have lagged the market dramatically this year, hardly budged. The S&P 500's 
energy company index is down 12 percent in 2017 while the broader S&P 500 is up 
almost 8 percent.

   In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline added 3 cents to $1.64 a gallon. 
Heating oil gained 1 cent to $1.56 a gallon. Natural gas rose 5 cents to $3.24 
per 1,000 cubic feet.

   The dollar sank to 111.19 yen from 111.80 yen. The euro fell to $1.1176 from 
$1.1205.

   As the dollar weakened, gold rose $11.70 to $1,268.10 an ounce and silver 
gained 13 cents to $17.32 an ounce. Copper fell 3 cents to $2.57 a pound.

   Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held 
steady at 2.25 percent.

   Germany's DAX lost 0.2 percent and the FTSE 100 in Britain rose 0.4 percent. 
The French CAC 40 fell by a fraction of a percentage point. Japan's benchmark 
Nikkei 225 index shed 0.6 percent but the South Korean Kospi climbed 0.5 
percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was nearly unchanged.


(KA)

 
 
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