S&P 500 trading near flat, lingering below record highs
By Caroline Valetkevitch (Reuters) - The S&P 500 was near flat, hovering below record highs, on Friday as data showed the U.S. economy was still hurting from the COVID-19 pandemic, adding to uncertainty over the recovery. Aggressive stimulus measures have helped the three main U.S
By Caroline Valetkevitch
(Reuters) - The S&P 500 was near flat, hovering below record highs, on Friday as data showed the U.S. economy was still hurting from the COVID-19 pandemic, adding to uncertainty over the recovery.
Aggressive stimulus measures have helped the three main U.S. stock indexes bounce back from a coronavirus-driven crash in March, and the S&P 500 briefly traded above its Feb. 19 record close for a second straight day on Thursday.
But the index has been unable to finish above the record, partly as prospects of more fiscal aid have faded with the Senate and House of Representatives in recess and no fresh talks scheduled.
"Investors are taking a pause. We've advanced pretty far off of the March 23 lows, and there's still a lot of uncertainty with regard to the overall economy, as well as the increase in case count that we've seen over the past month or so," said Brian Price, head of investments for Commonwealth Financial Network.
"I think the market is going to tread water here for a little bit."
Data on Friday showed U.S. retail sales increased less than expected last month and could slow further due to spiraling COVID-19 cases and a reduction in unemployment benefit checks.
Separately, readings showed that U.S. factory output increased more than expected in July, but remained below pre-pandemic levels while consumer sentiment was largely steady in the first half of August.
The upcoming U.S. presidential election is adding another layer of caution, along with continued outbreaks of the virus in parts of the United States.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 20.38 points, or 0.07%, to 27,917.1, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 1.52 points, or 0.05%, to 3,371.91 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 33.64 points, or 0.3%, to 11,008.87.
The benchmark S&P 500 was still set to rise for a third straight week.
Shares of German biotechnology firm CureVac BV
Applied Materials Inc
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.13-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.17-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 16 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 45 new highs and eight new lows.
(Addditional reporting by Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.