US stocks return to record highs on strong earnings

Published: July 27, 2019 12:35:21 | Updated: July 30, 2019 12:22:55

US stocks pushed to record heights Friday following strong profit reports from Google’s parent company, Twitter and other big corporations.

Companies are nearly midway through earnings reporting season, and results have generally been better than the dismal expectations that analysts had coming into it.

A government report on Friday also showed that US economic growth slowed in the spring, but it was still better than economists expected, reports AP.

The S&P 500 index rose 22.19 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 3,025.86 and passed its prior record set on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial average gained 51.47, or 0.2 per cent, to 27,192.45.

The Nasdaq composite also set a record after jumping 91.67 points, or 1.1 per cent, to 8,330.21.

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, soared to one of the biggest gains in the S&P 500 Friday after it joined the list of companies reporting stronger-than-expected profits.

It also allayed investors’ concerns about advertising trends after reporting stronger revenue growth than Wall Street forecast. Alphabet shares surged 9.6 per cent for their best day in four years.

Twitter jumped 8.9 per cent after it reported stronger user numbers and revenue for the second quarter than investors expected.

The big gains for Alphabet and Twitter meant stocks in the communications sector were the best performers in the S&P 500, up 3.2 per cent.

That was more than double the gain of any of the other 10 sectors that make up the index.

Sprint and T-Mobile US also jumped after the Justice Department approved their merger, despite fears that the deal could bring higher prices and less competition for customers.

Sprint rose 7.4 per cent, and T-Mobile US gained 5.4 per cent.

The 10-year Treasury yield remained at 2.07 per cent. The two-year yield, which is more influenced by the Fed’s movements, rose to 1.86 per cent from 1.84 per cent late Thursday.

In overseas markets, the French CAC 40 rose 0.6 per cent, the German DAX gained 0.5 per cent, and the FTSE 100 in London climbed 0.8 per cent.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.5 per cent, the South Korean Kospi fell 0.4 per cent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.7 per cent.

Benchmark US oil rose 18 cents to settle at $56.20 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 7 cents to $63.46 a barrel.

Wholesale gasoline fell 1 cent to $1.87 per gallon. Heating oil declined 1 cent to $1.90 per gallon. Natural gas fell 7 cents to $2.17 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold rose $4.60 to $1,418.50 per ounce, silver fell 1 cent to $16.33 per ounce and copper fell 2 cents to $2.68 per pound.

The dollar fell to 108.71 Japanese yen from 108.73 yen on Thursday. The euro strengthened to $1.1126 from $1.1144.

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