The S&P 500 has eked out a new record on an otherwise uneventful day on Wall Street and more in Thursday’s Stock Market Update.
The benchmark index closed with a gain of 2 points at 3,096, its third straight increase after a decline on Monday.
Consumer-focused stocks, including Target and Lowe’s, were the best performers, offsetting declines in technology and energy companies.
Cisco Systems (CSCO) dropped 7.3% after giving investors a surprisingly weak revenue forecast.
Overall, there was a lack of market-moving news Thursday. Investors are still awaiting more details on the status of trade talks between the U.S. and China.
Investors hope that both nations can come to some sort of an agreement to avert new and potentially more damaging tariffs that are scheduled to take effect in the middle of next month. Those new tariffs would hit some popular consumer products, such as electronic devices, as well as everyday goods.
While the market has been sensitive to the swings in the trade talks, the latest speculation did not put most investors in a selling mood.
“We’ve had headlines like this before and the market is doing a little bit better job of looking through them,” said Sameer Samana, senior global market strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute. “Until something is announced, yay or nay, it probably doesn’t make much sense to trade on it, especially when President Trump himself has tweeted out that talks are going well.”
Banks also moved broadly lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.82% from 1.87% late Wednesday. Lower bond yields hurt banks’ ability to charge more lucrative interest rates on mortgages and other loans.
Retailers and other companies that rely on consumer spending held up best. Lowe’s rose 1.5% and Target (TGT) added 2.3%. Walmart, which had been solidly higher earlier after reporting strong third-quarter results and raising its annual profit expectations, fell 0.3%.
Industrial and communication services stocks also notched gains. Boeing rose 1.3% and Netflix (NFLX) climbed 2.3%.
STOCK MARKET UPDATE
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 rose 2 points The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1 point to 27,781 after dropping around 100 points earlier. The Nasdaq fell 3 points to 8,479.
European markets closed broadly lower.
MARKET OVERVIEW: Stocks are still trading near records. Both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average reached new highs on Wednesday.
The broader market has been gaining ground for weeks on hopes that the U.S. and China can make progress in their latest push for a deal. Investors have also been encouraged by surprisingly good corporate earnings and data showing the economy is still growing solidly.
CHINA’S CHICKEN ORDER: Processed food companies, including Tyson Foods, moved higher after China decided to lift its four-year ban on U.S. poultry imports.
Tyson rose 1.7%, Sanderson Farms (SAFM) gained 3.8% and Pilgrim’s Pride edged up 1%.
The U.S. is the world’s second largest poultry exporter, with global exports of poultry meat and products of $4.3 billion last year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that more than $1 billion in poultry could be exported to China annually.
DILLARD’S DELIVERS: Shares of Dillard’s (DDS) jumped 14.1% after the department store operator surprised Wall Street with a fiscal third-quarter profit and solid sales.
WORTH KEEPING: NetApp (NTAP) climbed 3.1% after the data storage company’s fiscal second-quarter profit beat Wall Street forecasts.
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