Retailers and materials companies lead stock indexes higher

U.S. stocks are edging to new highs Monday as retailers and clothing companies rise. Mining and basic materials companies are gaining ground as the dollar remains weak. Small companies and large technology firms are also advancing. Stock indexes closed at record levels Friday and are adding to their gains.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,461 as of 1:25 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average picked up 13 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,651. The Nasdaq composite gained 9 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,322, which put that index on pace to set a record high. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 4 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,432.

Stocks climbed last week and reached all-time highs after a weak retail sales report gave investors more hope that the Federal Reserve will be cautious about raising interest rates. The S&P 500, Dow and Russell indexes all closed at record highs. The Nasdaq has rallied almost 4 percent in the last seven days to recover the losses it sustained when technology companies went into a slump in early June.

MATERIAL GAINS: Gold and copper producer Freeport-McMoRan rose 34 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $13.03 and gold producer Newmont Mining advanced 44 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $33.74. Paints and coatings maker Sherwin-Williams picked up $3.60, or 1 percent, to $360.07.

Precious metals prices rose as the dollar remained weaker than it’s been in months. The dollar slipped to 112.73 yen from 112.56 yen. The euro rose to $1.1474 from $1.1467. The ICE US dollar is at its lowest level since early September. It’s fallen every month since March.

Gold futures gained $6.20 to $1,233.70 an ounce. Silver climbed 16 cents, or 1 percent, to $16.10 an ounce. Copper gained 3 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $2.72 a pound.

BLACKROCK ROCKED: Investment firm BlackRock dipped after it reported weaker-than-expected results in the second quarter. The company’s net income and revenue both fell short of Wall Street forecasts, and its stock declined $13.21, or 3 percent, to $425.13.

LOST IN THE MAIL: FedEx said customers are still experiencing “widespread service and invoicing delays” after its TNT Express business was hit by a cyberattack in late June. FedEx TNT shipping volumes are down and it does not know when its services will back up to speed. The company said its annual results will take a hit because of reduced shipments and the cost of responding to the attack. FedEx added that…

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