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While you were sleeping: Tesla jumps, Wall St mixed

Friday 4th August 2017

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Wall Street was mixed, as the Dow continued its record-setting streak, while tech stocks including Apple and Amazon slid as investors locked in some profits. 

In 3.30pm trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1 percent. However, the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.3 percent. In 3.15pm trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined 0.2 percent.

Earlier in the day, the Dow touched to a fresh record high of 22,044.85.

In the Dow, advances in shares of Pfizer and those of 3M, recently up 1.8 percent and 0.8 percent respectively, outweighed declines in shares of DuPont and those of McDonald’s, recently down 1.3 percent and 1.1 percent respectively.

"Earnings are supporting this market and consumers are supporting it from a macroeconomic standpoint,” Phil Blancato, CEO of Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management, told Reuters. "This is a Goldilocks economy, good enough to push the market higher, no bubbles in sight."

Some stress the need for caution. 

“There is a lot riding on the continued global expansion, perhaps everything for investors,” Dave Lafferty, chief market strategist at Natixis Global Asset Management, wrote in a client note, Bloomberg reported. “Investors should remain hyper-vigilant about the global economy and earnings. It is even more important today as neither central bankers nor troublesome valuations are an investor’s friends.”

Shares of Tesla jumped, up 6.6 percent as of 3.22pm in New York, after the electric-car maker posted a lower-than-expected loss for the second quarter. 

"While we don't have meaningful reason to doubt that Tesla can eventually achieve its targets, doing so in a timely manner without some growing pains could prove challenging," RBC Capital Markets analyst Joseph Spak wrote in a research note, according to Reuters. RBC raised its target price for the stock by US$31 to US$345 following Tesla's results.

Meanwhile, the latest US economic data were mixed, with further evidence of strength in the jobs market but some surprising weakness in the services sector. 

A Labour Department showed initial jobless claims dropped 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 240,000 for the week ended July 29. However, a report from the Institute for Supply Management showed its non-manufacturing index declined to 53.9 in July, down from 57.4 in the prior month and the lowest in almost a year.

"The ISM report is clearly a big disappointment and suggests that the economy may have lost some momentum going into the third quarter," Andrew Hunter, an economist at Capital Economics, told Reuters. "But it is worth remembering that these monthly surveys have always been volatile.”

The government’s nonfarm payrolls report, scheduled for release on Friday, is expected to show that US employers hired about 180,000 workers last month.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index finished the session with an advance of almost 0.1 percent from the previous close. The UK’s FTSE 100 Index climbed 0.9 percent, led by a 9.7 percent jump in shares of Next, while France’s CAC 40 Index rose 0.5 percent. 

The British pound slid after the Bank of England kept its key interest rate on hold, as had been expected, and maintained its inflation forecasts for the coming quarters. 

Germany’s DAX Index fell 0.2 percent.



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