U.S. Stocks End Week at Record After Strong Earnings, Fed SignalMore
(Bloomberg) — Nothing has been able to stop the streak of records in U.S. stocks.
During a week when the coronavirus threatened to become a pandemic that thwarts global growth, the S&P 500 Index advanced four out of five days, posting three records along the way. Investors found comfort in solid economic data, better-than-expected earning reports and a signal that the Federal Reserve stands ready to act if needed.
The benchmark for American equities jumped 1.6% in the week, ending at an all-time high. All 11 groups advanced, led by companies that pay high dividends as bond yields remained persistently low. Nvidia Inc. had its best week since 2017 after fourth-quarter results beat expectations. U.S. markets are closed Monday for a holiday.
While uncertainty about the deadly virus that’s put China’s economy in a halt remained high, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank is monitoring the fallout from the pandemic. Adding to investor optimism data showing retail sales strengthened for a fourth consecutive month, putting consumers on track to support further economic growth.
“What we’re seeing here with the new highs in the market is optimism that coronavirus will not hit global GDP perhaps as much as initially expected,” said Jeff Zipper managing director at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management, which has about $181 billion in assets under management. “Then you have earnings coming in better-than-expected. And then you have a Fed on the sidelines which has helped the market.”
Economic data Friday showed retail sales rose in January for a fourth straight month as cheaper prices at the gas pump encouraged Americans to spend on other goods, underscoring steady consumer spending. Next week, Walmart Inc. is set to give investors an insight into the state of the consumer. Machinery giant Deere