US equity indexes closed at new record highs on Friday, as consumer stocks led the advance after stronger than expected retail sales data for the Christmas trading period.
Retail stocks were conspicuous among the top ten on the S&P 500. Lowe's was among the leaders on the S&P 500 as the home improvement store got a boost from the retail data. Its shares gained 5.33% to $100.84, while Target added 3.81% to $76.82 and Kohl's rose 4.55% to $63.90. On the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Wal-Mart Stores gained 0.88% to $100.90.
A well-received trading update from JPMorgan also ensured banks were among Friday's winners. JPMorgan shares rose 1.65% to $112.67, after the company, led by chief executive Jamie Dimon, reported fourth-quarter earnings of $4.2bn and welcomed US tax cuts in its trading statement.
- Dow 25,803.19 +0.89%
- S&P 500 2,786.02 +0.67%
- NASDAQ 7,261.06 +0.68%
- Russell 2000 1,591.47 +0.3%
- NYSE Composite 13,297.8 +0.66%
- Gold $1,339 +1.25%
- Oil WTI $64.41 +0.96%
- 10-Year Treasury 2.56 +0.03bps
Facebook was one of the biggest fallers on Friday as investors, along with users of the social networking website took the news of changes in design very badly.
The company announced is would redesign how it ranks the posts and pages that appear to its users. Some said this suggested management are concerned that users are deserting the site because their news feeds are deluged with advertisements and "suggested posts" from other media organisations.
It's a fine balance that every media organisation has to tread. Facebook relies on growth in users to monetise its appeal to advertisers and partner websites. But it relies on advertisers for its revenues. Investors are rightly concerned that any shut out of advertising on Facebook will hit revenue growth.
Shares in Facebook ended the session 4.46% lower at $179.40.
Next week . . .
Look out next week for further banking reports and trading statements. Among them, Citigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Bank of New York Mellon and Morgan Stanley.