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Stock market updates: S&P 500 rises to a fresh history closing high

Stocks concluded higher on Friday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closing out the session at record levels.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq each rose about 0.5 %, while the Dow ended only a tick above the flatline. U.S. stocks shook off earlier declines after tracking a drop in overseas equities, after new data showed that UK gross domestic product (GDP) slumped by a record 9.9 % in 2020 as a virus-induced recession swept the nation.

Shares of Dow component Disney (DIS) reversed earlier gains to fall more than 1 % and take back from a record extremely high, after the company posted a surprise quarterly profit and produced Disney+ streaming prospects more than expected. Newly public business Bumble (BMBL), which set about trading on the Nasdaq on Thursday, rose another 7 % after jumping sixty three % in its public debut.

Over the past couple weeks, investors have absorbed a bevy of much stronger than expected earnings benefits, with corporate earnings rebounding much faster than expected inspite of the continuous pandemic. With at least eighty % of businesses right now having reported fourth quarter results, S&P 500 earnings per share (EPS) have topped estimates by seventeen % in aggregate, and bounced back above pre-COVID amounts, based on an analysis by Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Golub.

“Prompt and good government behavior mitigated the [virus-related] injury, leading to outsized economic and earnings surprises,” Golub said. “The earnings recovery has been considerably more effective than we could have imagined when the pandemic for starters took hold.”

Stocks have continued to set up fresh record highs against this backdrop, and as monetary and fiscal policy assistance remain robust. But as investors come to be comfortable with firming corporate performance, businesses could possibly have to top even bigger expectations to be rewarded. This could in turn put some pressure on the broader market in the near-term, as well as warrant much more astute assessments of specific stocks, based on some strategists.

“It is actually no secret that S&P 500 performance has been really powerful over the past several calendar years, driven mainly through valuation expansion. However, with the index P/E [price-to-earnings ratio] recently eclipsing its previous dot com extremely high, we believe that valuation multiples will begin to compress in the coming months,” BMO Capital Markets strategist Brian Belski wrote in a note Thursday. “According to our work, strong EPS growth is going to be important for the next leg greater. Thankfully, that’s exactly what existing expectations are forecasting. However, we also discovered that these kinds of’ EPS-driven’ periods tend to be more complicated from an investment strategy standpoint.”

“We believe that the’ easy cash days’ are over for the time being and investors will need to tighten up their aim by evaluating the merits of individual stocks, as opposed to chasing the momentum-laden strategies that have just recently dominated the expense landscape,” he added.

4:00 p.m. ET: Stocks end higher, S&P 500 and Nasdaq reach record closing highs
Here is exactly where the major stock indexes finished the session:

S&P 500 (GSPC): +18.55 points (+0.47 %) to 3,934.93

Dow (DJI): +27.44 points (+0.09 %) to 31,458.14

Nasdaq (IXIC): +69.70 points (+0.5 %) to 14,095.47

2:58 p.m. ET:’ Climate change’ is the most-cited Biden policy on company earnings calls: FactSet
Fourth-quarter earnings season marks the pioneer with President Joe Biden in the White House, bringing an innovative political backdrop for corporations to contemplate.

Biden’s policies around environmental protections and climate change have been the most-cited political issues brought up on company earnings calls up to this point, according to an analysis from FactSet’s John Butters.

“In terms of government policies mentioned in conjunction with the Biden administration, climate change as well as energy policy (twenty eight), tax policy (twenty COVID-19 and) policy (nineteen) have been cited or maybe talked about by the highest number of companies with this point in time in 2021,” Butters wrote. “Of these 28 companies, seventeen expressed support (or a willingness to the office with) the Biden administration on policies to greatly reduce carbon as well as greenhouse gas emissions. These 17 firms both discussed initiatives to minimize the own carbon of theirs as well as greenhouse gas emissions or perhaps services or goods they provide to help clients & customers reduce their carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.”

“However, four businesses also expressed a number of concerns about the executive order establishing a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands (plus offshore),” he added.

The list of twenty eight firms discussing climate change as well as energy policy encompassed companies from a diverse array of industries, like JPMorgan Chase, United Airlines Holdings and 3M, alongside standard oil majors like Chevron.

11:36 a.m. ET: Stocks mixed, S&P 500 and Nasdaq turn positive
Here’s where markets were trading Friday intraday:

S&P 500 (GSPC): +7.87 points (+0.2 %) to 3,924.25

Dow (DJI): 8.77 points (-0.03 %) to 31,421.93

Nasdaq (IXIC): +28.15 points (+0.21 %) to 14,053.77

Crude (CL=F): +$0.65 (+1.12 %) to $58.89 a barrel

Gold (GC=F): +$0.20 (+0.01 %) to $1,827.00 per ounce

10-year Treasury (TNX): +2.7 bps to yield 1.185%

10:15 a.m. ET: Consumer sentiment suddenly plunges to a six month lower in February: U. Michigan
U.S. consumer sentiment slid to the lowest level since August in February, according to the Faculty of Michigan’s preliminary month to month survey, as Americans’ assessments of the road ahead for the virus-stricken economy unexpectedly grew more grim.

The title consumer sentiment index dipped to 76.2 from 79.0 in January, sharply losing out on expectations for a surge to 80.9, according to Bloomberg consensus data.

The entire loss in February was “concentrated in the Expectation Index and among households with incomes under $75,000. Households with incomes of the bottom third reported significant setbacks in the present finances of theirs, with fewer of these households mentioning recent income gains than anytime since 2014,” Richard Curtin chief economist for the university’s Surveys of Consumers, said in a statement.

“Presumably a brand new round of stimulus payments will lessen financial hardships among those with the lowest incomes. A lot more surprising was the finding that consumers, despite the likely passage of a grand stimulus bill, viewed prospects for the national economy less favorably in early February compared to last month,” he added.

9:30 a.m. ET: Stocks open lower, but pace toward posting weekly gains
Here’s where markets were trading just after the opening bell:

S&P 500 (GSPC): 8.31 points (0.21 %) to 3,908.07

Dow (DJI): 19.64 (0.06 %) to 31,411.06

Nasdaq (IXIC): -53.51 (+0.41 %) to 13,970.45

Crude (CL=F): -1dolar1 0.23 (-0.39 %) to $58.01 a barrel

Gold (GC=F): 1dolar1 10.70 (0.59 %) to $1,816.10 per ounce

10-year Treasury (TNX): +3.2 bps to deliver 1.19%

9:05 a.m. ET: Equity funds see highest weekly inflows ever as investors pile into tech stocks: Bank of America
Stock cash simply saw the largest ever week of theirs of inflows for the period ended February 10, with inflows totaling a record $58.1 billion, based on Bank of America. Investors pulled a total of $800 million out of gold and $10.6 billion out of cash during the week, the firm added.

Tech stocks in turn saw their own record week of inflows during $5.4 billion. U.S. large cap stocks saw their second-largest week of inflows ever at $25.1 billion, and U.S. small cap inflows saw their third-largest week at $5.6 billion.

Bank of America warned that frothiness is rising in markets, nevertheless, as investors keep piling into stocks amid low interest rates, as well as hopes of a solid recovery for corporate profits and the economy. The firm’s proprietary “Bull as well as Bear Indicator” monitoring market sentiment rose to 7.7 from 7.5, nearing an 8.0 “sell” signal.

7:14 a.m. ET Friday: Stock futures point to a lower open
Here were the main moves in markets, as of 7:16 a.m. ET Friday:

S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,904.00, printed 8.00 points or even 0.2%

Dow futures (YM=F): 31,305.00, down fifty four points or 0.17%

Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 13,711.25, down 17.75 points or even 0.13%

Crude (CL=F): -1dolar1 0.43 (0.74 %) to $57.81 a barrel

Gold (GC=F): -1dolar1 9.50 (0.52 %) to $1,817.30 per ounce

10-year Treasury (TNX): +0.5 bps to deliver 1.163%

6:03 p.m. ET Thursday: Stock futures tick higher
Here’s where markets had been trading Thursday as overnight trading kicked off:

S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,904.50, printed 7.5 points or even 0.19%

Dow futures (YM=F): 31,327.00, down 32 points or perhaps 0.1%

Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 13,703.5, printed 25.5 points or 0.19%

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