Stock market indexes were mostly flat to finish off a week of good gains as investors started to pull back amid growing U.S.-China tensions and continued uncertainty surrounding the economic recovery, plus more in today’s Closing Bell on Money & Markets.
The Top Story
Rhetoric between Washington and Beijing knocked Wall Street off multi-month highs, although the main indexes were still set to add between 2.8% and 3.1% for the week on optimism over a coronavirus vaccine and the easing of virus-related curbs.
Fears of a renewed trade war had paused Wall Street’s recent rally and injected a degree of caution for the economy, keeping them in a tight range.
Real estate and utilities were up in some defensive plays, while losses were limited in the consumer staples sector.
Mixed retail earnings from Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT), Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) and Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) earlier this week showed online shopping gaining traction due to the stay-at-home orders, a trend that could damage brick-and-mortar players.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, but its shares slipped over 5.8%.
Stock Market Update: Closing Bell*
S&P 500: 2,950 (+0.06%)
DOW: 24,426 (-0.19%)
NASDAQ: 9,312 (+0.29%)
GOLD: $1,734 (+0.71%)
BITCOIN: $9,176.85 (+1.28%)
U.S. 10-YEAR YIELD: 0.65% (-0.02)
*- as of 3:15 p.m.
A Big Win
In this morning’s Opening Bell, we told you to watch for Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (NYSE: HPE) after the company reported a year-over-year drop in earnings of $0.20 per share. For the last quarter, the company said it lost $821 million in revenue. Shares of Hewlett Packard were down 11%.
We also told you to be on the lookout for Nvidia Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA) as the company said it had a 39% jump in revenue over last year thanks to an increase in data center sales. The company also beat expectations for earnings and revenue. Shares of Nvidia were up 2.3%.
Shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) were off 5.8% despite the company beating Wall Street expectations for both revenue and earnings.
Most precious metals gained on Friday as investors pulled back from equities amid growing tensions between the U.S. and China.
The tensions compounded fears of a slower global economic recovery, pressuring equity markets but supporting the U.S. dollar, also considered a safe haven.
Heightening economic woes, Beijing dropped its annual growth target for the first time ever. Gold, considered insurance during political uncertainty, scaled an over 7 1/2-year peak earlier this week.
Gold futures jumped 0.7% to trade at $1,734 an ounce. Silver futures pushed 1.8% higher to $17.67 an ounce.
Platinum moved up 2.3% to $886 an ounce while palladium was 4.5% lower at $1,969 an ounce.
Cannabis producers are keeping a tight rein on finances as they brace for the worst concerning the economy.
According to Marijuana Business Daily, demand remains strong for marijuana in many state markets, but producers are tightening their belts by trying to trim costs where they can — training workers to repair and replace equipment and sourcing some supplies directly.
Retailers Say Stimulus Checks Helped, But Spike May Be Short-Lived
Major American retailers said the coronavirus stimulus checks millions of Americans received helped bolster sales, but that bump may not last.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) CEO Doug McMillon said the stimulus checks helped drive purchases of nonessential items people had skipped over in the early days of the pandemic, according to CNBC.
Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook said his company saw an “uptick” in sales and gave some credit to stimulus checks.
Today’s Big Winners
(as of 3:15 p.m. EDT)
S&P 500: Coty Inc. (NYSE COTY) +13%
Nasdaq: Align Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: ALGN) +3.9%
Dow: Proctor & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) +0.8%
Today’s Big Losers
(as of 3:15 p.m. EDT)
S&P 500: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (NYSE: HPE) -10.9%
Nasdaq: NetEase Inc. (Nasdaq: NTES) -6.5%
Dow: Chevron Corp. (NYSE CVX) -1.9%
Check back for the most important news and numbers each day after the Closing Bell, only on Money & Markets.
Note: Markets are closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day. The Closing Bell will return on Tuesday.