Major US stock indices on Friday ended little changed after a listless day of trading ahead of the Labor Day holiday weekend capped a solid week of gains for the market.
A late-afternoon flurry of buying gave the S&P 500 its third straight gain. The benchmark index also snapped a string of four consecutive weekly losses.
Even so, the market closed out last month with its second monthly decline this year after May.
Financial, industrial and healthcare stocks were among the big winners. Those sectors outweighed losses in consumer goods makers and communication services stocks.
Shares in companies that rely on consumer spending also fell.
The stock indices wavered between small gains and losses throughout much of the day, with trading volumes lighter than usual.
“Going into a holiday weekend, you just have three days here where you’re not going to be able to reposition, so people are probably taking some profits and squaring their books ahead of the weekend,” Wells Fargo Investment Institute senior global market strategist Sameer Samana said.
The S&P 500 on Friday edged up 1.88 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,926.46, jumping 2.8 percent from a close of 2,847.11 on Aug. 23.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday rose 41.03 points, or 0.2 percent, to 26,403.28, a surge of 3 percent from 25,628.90 a week earlier.
The NASDAQ Composite on Friday gave up an early gain, sliding 10.51 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,962.88, but still gained 2.7 percent from 7,751.77 on Aug. 23.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks on Friday dropped 1.88 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,494.84, rising 2.4 percent from a close of 1,459.49 a week earlier.
The major indices this week stemmed their slide for last month, but still ended the month with losses.
The Dow dropped 1.7 percent, the S&P 500 lost 1.8 percent and the NASDAQ gave up 2.6 percent. The Russell took the heaviest losses for the month, falling 5.1 percent.
Trading turned volatile last month as investors worried that an escalating trade war between the US and China, as well as a slowing global economy, could tip the US into a recession.
The bond market seemingly confirmed these fears when long-term bond yields fell below short-term ones, a so-called inversion in the US yield curve that has correctly predicted previous recessions.
“We found the limits of how far both the US and the Chinese side can push the trade issue until it actually starts to manifest itself in markets,” Samana said. “And where you probably saw the bulk of that reaction is in the fixed-income market. That’s why you saw long-term yields basically collapse.”
Bond prices initially fell on Friday, pushing yields higher, but then lost momentum. That pushed long-term bond yields further below short-term ones.
Investors on Friday also weighed a mixed batch of corporate earnings reports.
Campbell Soup Co rose 3.9 percent and Big Lots Inc added 3.4 percent. Both companies reported quarterly profits that easily beat analysts’ forecasts.
Ulta Beauty Inc plunged 29.6 percent, its biggest drop ever, after the company reported weak results and cut its estimates.
Additional reporting by staff writer
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) largest customer accounted for 25 percent of its total revenue last year. Analysts believe the unnamed company to be Apple Inc. The world’s largest contract chipmaker generated NT$336.78 billion (US$11.9 billion) in consolidated sales from its largest customer last year, accounting for about 25 percent of the total, financial data provided by TSMC showed. With TSMC believed to be the sole processor supplier for Apple’s iPhone 12, analysts said the largest customer is likely the US consumer electronics giant, which drove the chipmaker’s sales growth. TSMC did not identify the customer. TSMC last year posted
RECRUITMENT: The latest hiring drive — for fabs in Hsinchu, Taichung and Tainan — aims to catch up with growth in the company and new technology development Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday unveiled a plan to hire 9,000 people this year in the latest round of recruitment as the chipmaker races to boost capacity to alleviate a chip crunch and safeguard its technology advantage. TSMC’s talent recruitment this year might be the most ambitious in its history, while last year’s drive of 8,000 added recruits doubled the 4,000 new hires that it averaged over the preceding few years. The latest drive — for fabs in Hsinchu, Taichung and Tainan — aims to catch up with growth in the company and new technology development, the Hsinchu-based chipmaker said. The
CHASING AFTER THE US: China is scrambling to cut its dependence on the West for crucial components such as computer chips, an issue that has become more urgent China pledged to boost spending and drive research into cutting-edge chips and artificial intelligence (AI) in its latest five-year targets, laying out a technological blueprint to vie for global influence with the US. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強) singled out key areas in which to achieve “major breakthroughs in core technologies,” including high-end semiconductors, operating systems, computer processors and cloud computing — areas in which US firms now hold sway. Beijing would also aim to get 56 percent of the country on faster 5G networks. Nationwide research and development spending is to increase by more than 7 percent annually, which “is expected to
GlobalWafers Co (環球晶圓), the world’s No. 3 supplier of silicon wafers, yesterday said that it has acquired a 70.27 percent stake in German competitor Siltronic AG, in a public bid that ended four days ago. With the acquisition of a controlling stake in Siltronic, the Taiwanese company is to become the world’s second-largest silicon wafer supplier. Last month, GlobalWafers secured more than 50 percent of Siltronic shares with an offer of 4.35 billion euros (US$5.2 billion) in a public tender that was due to end on Feb. 10, but the acceptance period was extended until Monday. In a statement released yesterday, the Hsinchu-based