Wall St gains, S&P 500 on track for sixth straight record closing high
By Stephen Culp NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street advanced on Friday pushed higher by technology stocks, with the S&P 500 on track for its sixth record closing high since confirming a bull market on Aug. 18. The gains also put the Nasdaq on a course for an all-time closing high and pushed the blue-chip Dow into positive territory for the year.
By Stephen Culp
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street advanced on Friday pushed higher by technology stocks, with the S&P 500 on track for its sixth record closing high since confirming a bull market on Aug. 18.
The gains also put the Nasdaq on a course for an all-time closing high and pushed the blue-chip Dow into positive territory for the year.
The S&P 500 is close to wrapping up what appears to be its best August in 34 years.
All three major U.S. stock indexes looked set to end the week higher than last Friday's close, marking the fifth consecutive weekly gains for the S&P and the Nasdaq.
"Tech continues to lead but again we're encouraged that the Dow is now green for the year, so other areas are starting to come back, trying to catch up," Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina. "But tech is still the true champ."
"It's an uneven, K-shaped recovery," Detrick added. "It shows how divided the economy is, and the companies that can succeed in this environment are gaining."
Economic data released before the bell showed American consumers, who account for about 70% of the U.S. economy, increased their spending more than expected in July but the savings rate, a barometer of consumer uncertainty, remained elevated well above pre-pandemic levels.
The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) core index, which excludes food and energy, rose at a rate of 1.3% year-on-year. On Thursday, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell unveiled a new monetary strategy adopting an average annual inflation target of 2%, implying the central bank could keep key interest rates near zero even if inflation rises above its target.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 90.71 points, or 0.32%, to 28,582.98, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 10.47 points, or 0.30%, to 3,495.02 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 46.06 points, or 0.4%, to 11,671.40.
Energy stocks <.SPNY> had the largest percentage gain among the major S&P sectors, rising 1.3% after Hurricane Laura passed through the Gulf region without causing widespread damage and oil rigs and refineries began to restart operations.
But tech companies continue to benefit from companies shifting to a work-from-home model.
Business software company Workday Inc
Shares of Walmart and Microsoft were up 2.4% and 0.5%, respectively.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.79-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.41-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 19 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 69 new highs and 14 new lows.
(Reporting by Stephen Culp; Editing by Tom Brown)
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.