US stocks edged higher, with the S&P 500 Index capping a fifth monthly gain, after data showing the US economy grew slower than forecast last quarter gave the US Federal Reserve no reason to accelerate its time table for higher interest rates. Earnings from Alphabet Inc boosted technology shares.
The S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent to 2,173.55 at 4pm in New York on Friday, closing within two points of its record. The gauge climbed 3.6 percent this month.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1 percent to 18,432.24, a fifth straight loss for the longest slide since June 15. The 30-stock index rose 2.8 percent this month, a sixth consecutive advance.
The Nasdaq 100 Index rose 0.2 percent on Friday, leaving it 7 percent higher in the month.
The US economy stumbled in the first half of this year as companies retrenched, leaving consumers to shoulder the burden of sustaining growth heading into the presidential election. That did not deter equity gains, with the S&P 500 overcoming the longest stretch without a record outside of a bear market since 1985 as central banks signaled additional stimulus and corporate earnings topped estimates.
“The market seems to shed anything that would otherwise disrupt its desire to climb higher,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Philadelphia-based Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, which manages US$54 billion. “While these numbers are a little bit in hindsight, you have to at least take into account their momentum and see that the validation for the market is that the economic situation is going to be sufficiently decent to improve the earnings picture going forward.”
While the US Federal Reserve earlier in the week held its rates unchanged as forecast, it reiterated its intention to raise rates only gradually.
The GDP data come as investors sift through one of the busiest weeks of the earnings season. Halfway through, more than 80 percent of the S&P 500 companies that have reported so far beat profit projections and almost 60 percent topped sales estimates.
Analysts have eased their expectations for a drop in second-quarter earnings to 4.5 percent.
Google parent Alphabet rose to the highest since December last year after its quarterly profit topped estimates.
Amazon.com Inc climbed after forecasting sales that might exceed analysts’ projections.
‘ACCORDING TO PLAN’: A company official said that it has set up production sites worldwide to provide services and that its Wisconsin project was going smoothly Hon Hai Precision Industry Co’s (鴻海精密) smart manufacturing center in Wisconsin would begin trial manufacturing in the middle of this year, the company said yesterday, adding that it plans to build a research institute to develop key technologies to support growth over the next five years. Hon Hai, known internationally as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團), said in an annual report submitted to the Taiwan Stock Exchange that its planned Foxconn Institute for Research in Science and Technology would conduct research into artificial intelligence, next-generation communications, quantum computing, cybersecurity and nano semiconductors in Taiwan. Hon Hai is to make products at the center
TV and online retailer Momo.com Inc (富邦媒體) yesterday said it has set up a new logistics subsidiary, Fu Sheng Logistics Co (富昇物流), to oversee the company’s extensive shipping operations. Leveraging Momo’s 23 satellite warehouses and distribution centers nationwide, Fu Sheng will be in charge of executing the retailer’s same-day shipment plan for deliveries in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, Momo said in a press release. Seeking to further shorten its supply chain, the company is to set up another seven satellite warehouses and distribution centers by the end of the year. “Fu Sheng has a fleet of 200 couriers
E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技), the world’s sole supplier of e-paper displays for e-readers and shelf labels, posted its best quarterly net profit for the first quarter in nine years amid increased demand during a traditionally slow season. Net profit soared 80 percent to NT$787 million (US$26.23 million) in the quarter ended March 31, compared with NT$438 million a year earlier. That translated into earnings per share of NT$0.69, up from NT$0.39. E Ink posted lower royalty income of NT$371.23 million last quarter from NT$448.74 million a year earlier, a company financial statement showed. E Ink said that it expects royalty income to
STAYING AHEAD: Fitch said that TSMC remains technologically ahead of others, but Samsung is building a new chip fab, while China is investing in its domestic industry As escalating US-China tensions and COVID-19-related production disruptions force US technology supply chains to transform, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) US$12 billion chip fabrication plant in Arizona would be key to spurring greater US production of core semiconductor components, Fitch Ratings said. “We view the US-TSMC alliance as a first step in building a more autonomous US technology supply chain, given high barriers to entry, specifically related to the significant capital and design capability required for leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing,” Fitch said in a statement on Tuesday. “By working with TSMC, US chipmakers will not face the financial burden of incremental investment