Investor sentiment and business confidence continues to ride the high from strong Q1 results for retail and strong economic data sending Wall Street to record closes.
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index identified optimism about personal finances as its buying-climate gauge ascended to 46.7, its highest since December 2001, from 44.8.
The Dow strode to another record setting at 21,082.95 up 0.34% at close. NASDAQ rose 42 points to 6,205.26 and S&P 500 was up +0.44% to 2,415.07.
- Dow 21,082.95 +0.34%
- S&P 500 2,415.07 +0.44%
- NASDAQ 6,205.26 +0.69%
- Russell 2000 1,383.39 +0.06%
- NYSE Composite 11,639.30 +0.16%
- Gold 1,249.00 -0.73%
- Oil WTI 48.71 -5.16%
- 10-year yield 2.26% -0.01
NASDAQ flew close to the sun just off from its 52-week high of 6,217. Twenty-First Century Fox was a big mover on the index +2.10% to $27.23 as was A-Mark Precious Metals up +2.11% to $15.95.
The biggest decliner was finance company, Amerco, which plunged -10.09% to $353.40. Home builder AV Homes fell -1.53% to $16.10
Oil prices dived below $50 a barrel after OPEC confirmed extended plans to limit production for a further nine months to a less-than-enthusiastic market which wanted deeper cuts to tackle the global glut.
The energy sector was also affected trading down on the S&P 500 close to 1.8%.
Best Buy and Ulta Beauty - standouts in retail crowd
The consumer discretionary sector was the best performer on the S&P 500 underscoring consumer resilience. Retail trade sector registered an +8.06% change over 3 months on the index.
Electronics retailer, Best Buy Co, posted solid Q1 results comfortably beating analysts’ expectations, its share price rising +22.09% to $61.54. Online sales and gaming helped to propel profits. Earnings increased 40% year over year.
Other retailers got a boost including Christopher & Banks Corp, which spiked up +14.76% to $1.21.
Ulta Beauty Inc also beat expectations and saw its price rise +8.91% to $305.49 after releasing its first quarter results at close showing diluted EPS increased 41.4% to $2.05 and its net sales increased 22.5% to $1.3 bn.
Mary Dillon, Chief Executive Officer of the beauty and salon company commented: “Strong execution of our growth strategies delivered above plan sales and earnings growth. Our results reflect continued newness and innovation in merchandising, successful marketing programs, steady progress in our salon business and exceptional growth in e-commerce.”
Other gainers were Alliance Data Systems up +7.91 to $245.62 and Netflix up +5.30 to $163.05.
Elsewhere, as Britain’s political leaders prepare to resume campaigning activity Friday, an output indicator was weaker than expected.
Economic growth was revised downward by the ONS to 0.2% for the first quarter stumbling on higher inflation hitting consumer spending. GDP grew 0.7% in the previous three months.
This was below the 1.9% the Bank of England expected growth to reach in 2017.
Constructing and manufacturing are flat while business services and the banking industry remain stalwarts.
The Brexit bounce has deflated as household budgets come under pressure from higher inflation. The pound fell precipitously since the vote and prices of import have consequently increased.
However, expert commentators remain cautiously optimistic and consider this a temporary blip as the weak pound and a growing global economy is expected to help UK businesses.
The pound weakened sliding 0.3% against the dollar $1.29. The FTSE closed +0.04% to 7,517.71.
Breaking news: Former Greek Prime Minister, Lucas Papademos, was injured in a car blast in central Athens.