S&P500 climbs toward record, marquee reports in focus

July 23, 2019

New York (July 23)  The S&P 500 climbed toward a record high yesterday, supported by expectations of lower interest rates, while investors awaited quarterly earnings from marquee companies Facebook, Alphabet and Amazon later this week.

Facebook Inc (FB.O) rose 1.6% ahead of its report after the bell on Wednesday, while Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Google-parent Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) were each up about 0.5% ahead of their reports on Thursday.

Investors’ reactions to the reports of those top-tier growth companies could affect broader market sentiment as the S&P 500 trades about 1% below its July 15 record high close.

“How is that going to affect my other tech holdings and the market overall? That is more worrying than my actual investment in Alphabet,” said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The technology index .SPLRCT rose 1.2%, the most among the S&P sectors, while the Philadelphia chip index .SOX surged 2%.

Shares of Boeing Co (BA.N) fell 1% and pressured the blue-chip Dow index .DJI after ratings agency Fitch revised its outlook on the planemaker to "negative" from "stable," while the tech-heavy Nasdaq was lifted by chipmakers.

The European Central Bank meets on Thursday and money markets are pricing in a more than 50% chance of a 10 basis point cut in interest rates. Federal Reserve officials are set to meet a few days later, when they are widely expected to lower rates by at least 25 basis points.

Hopes of an interest rate cut have helped Wall Street’s main indexes hit record levels this month, recovering from a slump in May caused by a sudden escalation of U.S.-China trade tensions.

About 30% of S&P 500 companies are set to report second-quarter results this week, with overall profits now estimated to rise about 1%, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Chip stocks gained on news that White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow will host a meeting with executives of semiconductor and software companies on Monday to discuss a U.S. ban on sales to China’s Huawei Technologies.

At 2:34 pm ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 0.01% at 27,157.14 points, while the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.28% to 2,984.97.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 0.68% to 8,201.64.

Second-quarter earnings have been mixed so far, with major banks raising concerns about profit growth in a low interest rate environment. Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and International Business Machines (IBM.N), on the other hand, have reported better-than-expected earnings.

Halliburton Co (HAL.N) surged 8%, the most among S&P 500 companies, after the oilfield services provider’s second-quarter profit beat analysts’ estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.03-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.11-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted six new 52-week highs and five new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 45 new highs and 105 new lows.


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