Dow Industrials Finish at Record High

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to a record Friday and notched a third consecutive week of gains. 

Stocks have risen in recent days after strong earnings results from some of the biggest U.S. corporations. Most S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings have beat analysts’ expectations, and corporate profits are expected to jump around 35% in the latest quarter from the prior year, according to Refinitiv data. 

Financial results from companies like Tesla and Johnson & Johnson throughout the week showed that corporate executives have been able to insulate themselves from the global supply-chain crisis and deliver strong results. Some companies have been passing down higher prices to customers. 

Major indexes wavered Friday after steadily rising for much of the week. The blue-chip gauge added 73.94 points, or 0.2%, to 35677.02, its first high since August. The S&P 500 shed 4.88 points, or 0.1%, to 4544.90, snapping a seven-session winning streak. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 125.50 points, or 0.8%, to 15090.20. 

All three major indexes notched weekly gains. The S&P 500 is up 1.6% this week, while the Dow has added 1.1%. The Nasdaq is up around 1.3%.

On Friday, American Express shares rose $9.61, or 5.4%, to $187.08, making it the best-performing stock in the Dow. The credit-card company posted a rise in earnings that beat analysts’ forecasts, in part helped by more consumers dining out.

“It’s still a solid backdrop for the stock market,” said Gabriela Santos, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management. 

Market volatility has edged lower this week while investors have piled into the stock market, sending major indexes to highs. The Cboe Volatility Index closed at 15.01 Thursday, its lowest close since February 2020. Some investors have turned to the options markets in recent sessions to wager on a continued stock rally, betting that the gains will continue through the end of the year. 

While the broader market has been calmer in recent sessions, there have been big moves in individual stocks and other assets.  

Investors have piled into bitcoin, sending prices to a high this week after the first bitcoin ETF started trading. Oil prices have kept soaring. Brent crude oil has jumped for nine consecutive weeks—the longest winning streak since 1999—to $85.53 on Friday, near its high of the year.

Digital World Acquisition, the blank-check company taking former President Donald Trump ‘s new social network public, more than doubled in a frenetic trading session that was reminiscent of January’s meme-stock mania. The shares were halted at least six times in trading Friday and are now up more than 800% this week, a lurch higher that is unusual even for SPACs, which tend to be volatile. Chatter about the shares permeated Reddit and Twitter.

Snap shares fell $19.97, or 27%, to $55.14 after the social-media company said changes to Apple’s privacy rules would hurt its ad business. Other technology shares also slipped, with Facebook falling more than 5% and Google parent company Alphabet down 3%. 

“When you look at the overall index, you would think things are all calm,” said Brian Bost, co-head of equity derivatives in the Americas at Barclays. “The reality is there’s a lot of volatility.”

And recent earnings showed that some companies are struggling with parts shortages, spurring big moves in individual stocks. Intel shares dropped roughly 12% after the chip maker posted earnings late Thursday. Component shortages are weighing on Intel’s computer shipments and China’s gaming crackdown is hurting sales of chips used in servers.

The Port of Los Angeles is struggling to keep up with the crush of cargo containers at its terminals, creating one of the biggest choke points in the supply-chain crisis.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.654% on Friday, from 1.574% last week.

Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.5%, led by its technology sector. Asian stock markets were mixed. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.3%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index rose 0.4%, while in mainland China, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.3%.

Snap said changes to Apple’s privacy rules would hurt its ad business.

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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