Stocks closed out the week with a bang Friday, boosted by an encouraging reading on consumer sentiment.
Ahead of today’s opening bell, the University of Michigan said its preliminary consumer sentiment index rose to 55.1 in August from July’s final reading of 51.5. However, the data also showed that 48% of survey respondents believe inflation is negatively impacting their living standards.
“Consumers are nervous about spending on big ticket items and are increasingly convinced that now is a bad time to buy a vehicle or a major household item,” says Jeffrey Roach, chief economist at independent broker-dealer LPL Financial. “Consumer spending will likely slow in the near term.”
Investors will get a closer look at consumer data next week with July’s retail sales figures due out Thursday morning, and a heavy dose of retailers on the earnings calendar. While their quarterly results will reveal details on consumer spending during the second quarter, post-report earnings calls with analysts could shed more light on current conditions.
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Today’s broad-based rally was led by strong performances in the technology (+2.0%) and communication services (+1.8%) sectors. As such, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite outpaced its peers, jumping 2.1% to 13,047. The S&P 500 Index gained 1.7% to 4,280 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.3% to 33,761. The Nasdaq and S&P closed higher for a fourth straight week, the longest such streak since November.
Other news in the stock market today:
- The small-cap Russell 2000 surged 2.1% to 2,016.
- U.S. crude futures fell 2.4% to finish at $92.09 per barrel.
- Gold futures rose 0.5% to end at $1,815.50 an ounce.
- Bitcoin slipped 0.1% to $24,175.21. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m.)
- Peloton Interactive (PTON) jumped 13.6% after the treadmill maker said it is cutting almost 800 jobs and closing stores across North America in order to cut costs. “These are hard choices because we are impacting people’s lives,” Peloton CEO Barry McCarthy wrote in a memo that was released to several media outlets, include CBS News. “We simply must become self-sustaining on a cash flow basis.” McCarthy, who took over the top spot in February, also said PTON is raising prices on both its Bike+ and Peloton Tread.
- It was a volatile session for Rivian (RIVN) which was up more than 4% at one point and down more than 4% at another, before shares settled with a modest 0.1% loss. This was in reaction to the electric vehicle (EV) maker’s second-quarter earnings report which …….