Stocks finished at their best week of the year following the strong post-Brexit rebound earlier in the week.
But they also closed at the flattest level of the week as Wall Street wound down ahead of the long independence-day weekend.
Trading volume of common stocks on the New York Stock Exchange was at the lowest level of the year so far, according to Bloomberg.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 17,970.09, +40.10, (0.22%)
- S&P 500: 2,104.79, +5.93, (0.28%)
- Nasdaq: 4,866.75, +24.08, (0.50%)
- WTI crude oil: $48.99, +$0.66, (+1.4%)
- 10-year Treasury yield: 1.456% (-0.036)
- The 10-year yield fell to a record low. The benchmark Treasury yield fell to as low as 1.382% overnight in New York before rebounding. The 30-year yield broke through the 2.22% level, dropping to as low as 2.189%. Traders cited speculation of more bond buying by the European Central Bank, as well as a desire to not go into the long weekend short Treasurys, as catalysts for the strong buying. Yields fall as bond prices rise amid stronger demand.
- Manufacturing expanded faster than expected in June. The Institute of Supply Management’s manufacturing index climbed to 53.2 during the month, the highest level since February 2015. Economists had forecast a reading of 51.3 according to Bloomberg. “In one line: The manufacturing slowdown is over,” wrote Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson in a client note. The indexes for new orders, production, and employment all rose. ” This report, and especially the 57.0 new orders index, supports our view that the capex crunch is over, more or less,” Shepherdson said.
- Ford was the only one among the so-called ‘big three’ automakers that beat sales expectations in June. Fiat Chrysler fell short, while GM reported a 1.6% drop (0.7% expected.) As Business Insider’s Matthew DeBord wrote, GM’s drop is mainly because of its decision to pull back on so-called “fleet” sales, which are less profitable than “retail” sales. Volkswagen reported a 22% drop in sales, as it continues to struggle following the emissions cheating saga.
- Harley Davidson shares surged as much as 18% amid rumours that private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is considering a takeover of the American motorcycle manufacturer. The stock rose to as high as $53.81 per share, its best level since last October.But the manufacturer of big, loud bikes has come under competitive pressure of late from newer market entrants, such as Polaris Industries-owned Indian, and smaller, sportier motorcycles from Japanese and Italian manufacturers, such as Ducati.
- The US oil rig count rose by the most in six months this week. Oil driller Baker Hughes said the tally climbed by 11 to 341, the biggest increase since December 2015, while the gas rig count fell this week by 1 to 89. Miscellaneous rigs were unchanged at 1, taking the total up by 10 to 431. The tally has now risen for four out of the last five weeks, as rising oil prices encouraged some producers to ramp up production.