Stocks hover near record highs

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U.S. equity markets are contending with record highs Friday as investors continue to look past a hotter-than-expected reading on inflation.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34479.14 +12.90 +0.04%
SP500 S&P 500 4242.84 +3.66 +0.09%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14054.791305 +34.46 +0.25%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 101 points, or 0.29%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.14% and 0.07%, respectively.

The early gains have both the S&P 500 and the Dow hovering just below intraday record highs. Any positive close for the S&P would be an all-time high after the benchmark index on Thursday finished at a record peak despite consumer prices surging 5% annually, the most since August 2008. 

CONSUMER PRICES SURGE 5% ANNUALLY, MOST SINCE AUGUST 2008

In stocks, McDonald’s was hit by a data breach that impacted the U.S., South Korea, and Taiwan, according to The Wall Street Journal.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MCD MCDONALD’S CORP. 237.16 +2.48 +1.06%

Dow component Boeing Co. gained after the U.S. and U.K. committed to settling a trade dispute over civil aircraft subsidies. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DOW DOW, INC. 68.39 +0.43 +0.63%

Shares of Royal Caribbean Group were lower after two guests on its Celebrity Millennium ship, which restarted sailing last week, tested positive COVID-19. Rivals Carnival Corp. and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. were also weaker.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
RCL ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES 89.19 -1.20 -1.33%
CCL CARNIVAL CORP. 29.46 -0.36 -1.22%
NCLH NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE HOLDINGS LTD. 31.65 -0.82 -2.53%

Vertex Pharmaceuticals said it would end the development of liver disease drug VX-864 after a study found it was “unlikely to translate into substantial clinical benefit.”

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
VRTX VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. 198.62 -18.15 -8.37%

In earnings, pet-products retailer Chewy Inc. reported earnings and revenue that exceeded Wall Street estimates, but warned of labor shortages and supply chain issues.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
CHWY CHEWY INC. 75.78 -3.46 -4.37%

Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc. reported quarterly sales surged 66% year over year as customers returned to locations as lockdowns eased. The company said revenue for the current quarter could return to 2019 levels, but cautioned that margins could be under pressure.  

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil jumped 18 cents to $70.47 per barrel and gold slid $8.70 to $1,887.70 an ounce. 

Overseas markets traded mixed, with strength in Europe and weakness in Asia. 

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European bourses rallied across the board with France’s CAC 40 up 0.87%, Britain’s FTSE 100 advancing 0.63% and Germany’s DAX 30 climbing 0.77%.

In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index ticked up 0.36% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.03% and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.59%.