Wall Street posts record closing highs

·3-min read

The three major US stock indexes have rallied to record closing highs as financials and other economically focused sectors rebounded from a sell-off sparked by growth worries earlier in the week.

The rally allowed the indexes to notch slight gains for the week, which also featured a sharp rally in US Treasuries as investors worried the US economic recovery might be losing steam as the Delta variant of the coronavirus spread globally.

US 10-year Treasury notes fell on Friday, halting an eight-day price rise, while the S&P 500 financials sector jumped 2.9 per cent in the sector's biggest daily percentage gain since March 1.

Financials led sector advances followed by energy, materials and industrials. Big banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co will kick off the second-quarter earnings season next week when they report results.

"What an about-face from all of the gloom and doom from yesterday," said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

"The US is in a bubble compared to the rest of the world, in a break from COVID. How long that's going to last we don't know," he said, but "until that narrative changes, this is a market with a lot of free money and low interest rates."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 448.23 points, or 1.3 per cent, to 34,870.16, the S&P 500 gained 48.73 points, or 1.13 per cent, to 4,369.55 and the Nasdaq Composite added 142.13 points, or 0.98 per cent, to 14,701.92.

For the week, the Dow is up 0.2 per cent, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq each added 0.4 per cent.

A big jump in quarterly earnings is expected to mark a peak for US profit growth in the recovery from last year's pandemic-induced collapse.

Investors are looking to US companies' upcoming quarterly results and forecasts about the recovery in the second half of 2021 as some worry that the recent economic surge is already waning.

Analysts expect earnings growth of 65.8 per cent for companies in the S&P 500 index in the quarter, up from a previous forecast of 54 per cent growth at the start of the period, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Among individual stocks, Levi Strauss & Co rose 1.4 per cent as it forecast a strong full-year profit after beating quarterly earnings estimates on improving demand across its markets for jeans, tops, and jackets.

US-listed shares of Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Global Inc gained 7.3 per cent after four sessions of losses as it was recently hit by an investigation from China's internet watchdog.

Volume on US exchanges was 8.51 billion shares compared with the 10.5 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.77-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.33-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 44 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 60 new highs and 32 new lows.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting