Stocks finished the day mixed while Google gained more than 16% and the Nasdaq closed at a record high to end the week. After Greece dominated the headlines over the last few weeks, each of the major averages logged notable gains with the tech-heavy Nasdaq climbing 4% and the S&P 500 gaining more than 2%.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 18,089, -31, (-0.2%)
- S&P 500: 2,216, +2.5, (+0.1%)
- Nasdaq: 5,209, +46, (+0.9%)
And now, the top stories on Friday:
- It was a busy day in economic data, but the most positive news came from the housing market, where housing starts rose 9.8% in June to a seasonally adjusted annualized pace of 1.17 million, the fastest pace since 2007. Building permits were also up 7.4% in June, well above expectations for a decline in permits. In a note to clients following the data, Stu Hoffman at PNC wrote, “Housing ‘caught fire’ in a positive sense this spring helping to heat up an economy that was frozen stiff in the cold winter months. This will continue to add construction jobs to more than make up for the loss of jobs in the energy economy.”
- Consumer prices rose 0.3% in June, as expected, and when excluding the more volatile cost of food and gas, prices rose 0.2%. Over the prior year, “core” prices rose 1.8% in June. This is still below the Fed’s 2% target, but in a note to clients following the report, analysts at Capital Economics noted that “core” prices are up 2.3% over the last 3 months on an annualized basis.
- The initial reading on consumer confidence from the University of Michigan in July disappointed, with the index falling to 93.3 in July after a 96.0 print in June. In a release, the survey’s chief economist Richard Curtin wrote, “The small loss in early July reflected a slight rise in concerns about international developments which was partially offset by continued news of job gains.”
- Google shares went absolutely nuts on Friday, gaining more than 16% adding more than $US60 billion market cap to the company after earnings on Thursday night beat expectations. The search giant reported earnings per share of $US6.99, topping expectations, while revenue came in a bit light at $US17.7 billion. This also marked the first quarter of new CFO Ruth Porat’s tenure after Porat joined the company from Morgan Stanley. Wall Street analysts praised Porat in notes following the report.
- Tesla announced a new mode for its Model S electric vehicle: “Ludicrous Mode.” In a press call on Friday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the upgrade to the car’s performance, and said the company made the upgrade despite the fact that no customers had been asking for it because, as Musk said, “it was too ludicrous.”
- Shares of online craft marketplace Etsy had a wild ride on Friday, rising more than 35% after the company got a passing mention on Google earnings conference call as a beneficiary of increased traffic due to what Google called “deep linking.”
- The Federal Reserve was in focus this week with Fed chair Janet Yellen speaking to lawmakers on both Wednesday and Thursday. But a report from Business Insider’s Jonathan Marino on Friday said the Fed could face another challenge from lawmakers next week who are seeking to limit the New York Fed’s “permanent” status on the FOMC, the Fed committee that makes decisions on the Fed’s interest rate policies.
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