The Dow did it again.
For the 11th straight day in a row, the index touched a new all-time high.
It was up by a mere 6 points at the close after spending most of the day in the red.
The other two major indices also finished little changed, but up for the day.
And now, let’s hit the scoreboard:
- Dow: 20,806.15, -4.17, (-0.02%)
- S&P 500: 2,364.71, +0.91, (+0.07%)
- Nasdaq: 5,837.70, +2.15, (+0.10%)
- US 10-year yield: 2.317%, -0.071
- WTI Crude: $US54.02 per barrel, -0.43, (-0.79%)
1. Consumer confidence falls for the first time since Trump’s election, according to the University of Michigan’s bimonthly survey. The sentiment index in February fell to 96.3 from a January reading of 98.5, which was the highest in a decade. Economists had forecast a reading of 96. Still, confidence remains above pre-election levels.
2. Trump called China the “grand champions” of currency manipulation — and China responded. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said he hoped the US could “fully and correctly” view the exchange-rate issue. “China has no intention of seeking foreign trade advantages via an intentional devaluation of the renminbi. There is no basis for the continued devaluation of the renminbi,” he told a daily media briefing in Beijing.
3. The White House denied a report that it doesn’t support the version of the border adjustment tax being pushed by Republicans in Congress. This follows Trump’s favourable comments about the proposal in an interview with Reuters on Thursday. Meanwhile, Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, expressed concern over it in an interview with CNBC, saying “my view is that this actually does not create jobs.”
4. Private prison stocks jumped after the Justice Department reverted a plan to reduce their use. CoreCivic, the largest publicly traded prison provider formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America, rallied 3%. Geo Group gained as much as 3.6% to a record high near noon in New York.
5. JC Penny is closing up to 140 stores to “effectively compete against the growing threat of online retailers.” Additionally, the retailer reported adjusted earnings for the quarter of $US0.64 a share, higher than analysts’ expectations of $US0.60 a share. Revenue came just barely below expectations at $US3.96 billion against analysts’ projections of $US3.98 billion.
6. Nordstrom spiked by about 6% after a stellar fourth quarter. The department store operator was boosted by outlet Nordstrom Rack, which saw comparable sales increase 4.3%, while the Nordstrom brand experienced a decrease in comparable sales of 2.7%.
7. Baker Hughes oil rig count rose for the 6th straight week. The rig count was up by five to 602, while the gas rig count rose by two to 151. At 632, the oil rig count would be double the trough it fell to after the most recent oil crash.
8. Bitcoin hovered around all-time highs again. The cryptocurrency rose amid the expectation that the US Securities and Exchange Commission will approve at least one of the three proposed bitcoin-focused exchange-traded funds by a March 11 deadline. Analysts have warned that the SEC’s decision is uncertain.
9. New home sales jumped less than expected. Sales climbed by 3.7% at a seasonally adjusted rate of 555,000 in January, according to the Census Bureau.
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