MARKET SNAPSHOT: S&P 500 Ekes Out Another Record, Set For 8th Quarterly Gain In A Row

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch , Ryan Vlastelica Features Dow Jones Newswires

Dow and the S&P on track for their sixth straight monthly gain

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U.S. stocks were little changed on Friday, with investors finding few reasons to keep pushing shares higher following gains that have lifted equities for both the month and the quarter, however the move was enough to take both the S&P 500 and the Russell 2000 to intraday records.

What are stock indexes doing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 30 points, or 0.1%, to 22,352 while the S&P 500 was up less than 1 point to 2,510. That was enough for the benchmark index to hit an all-time high of 2,512.25 in early trading.

The Nasdaq Composite Index added 13 points, or 0.2%, to 6,466. The tech-heavy index was a few points away from its own record.

For the week, the Dow is flat, the S&P is up 0.3% and the Nasdaq is up 0.6%. The standout of the final week of the quarter has been small-cap companies, however, with the Russell 2000 up 2.8% thus far this week. On Friday, it rose 0.2% and hit a record of 1,491.62.

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What are market participants saying?

"The fundamental headlines in terms of market weakness don't seem to be there right now, but valuations look a little stretched and investors may take a pause from the momentum we've been seeing," said Sean Lynch, co-head, global equity strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute, who added that the S&P 500 could retreat 5% or 6% through the rest of the year before rebounding in 2018.

"The initial move so far this year has been on pretty good earnings and pretty good fundamentals. However, a lot of stocks have had great runs and look very expensive now." He singled out small-cap stocks as ones that "seem especially risky."

Don't miss:October could determine whether stocks have a great or middling move over the coming year (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/october-could-determine-whether-stocks-have-a-great-or-middling-move-over-the-coming-year-2017-09-29)

What's driving the market?

Traders are trying to find their footing after a week marked by hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and the long-awaited announcement on tax reform from the Trump administration.

Read:Get set for a 'favorable' backdrop for stocks until at least 2019, says Blackstone's Wien (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/get-set-for-a-favorable-backdrop-for-stocks-until-at-least-2019-says-blackstones-wien-2017-09-29)

In the latest economic data, personal income rose 0.2% in August, while consumer spending was up 0.1%. Separately, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index hit 65.2 in September, a jump from the August reading of 58.9.

What are investors watching out for today?

On the Fed docket, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker is lined up to give a speech at 11 a.m. Eastern, covering the economic outlook as well as fintech at a conference at his regional bank.

Which stocks are Wall Street following?

Zogenix Inc. (ZGNX) more than doubled on extremely heavy trading, as shares soared 140% on news of a positive trial (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/zogenix-says-late-stage-trial-of-treatment-for-rare-form-of-epilepsy-met-its-main-goal-2017-09-29) for its drug to treat a rare type of epilepsy.

Amazon.com Inc.-owned Whole Foods(AMZN) said late Thursday that hackers tried to steal data from its credit-card-swiping machines (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/whole-foods-says-hackers-tried-to-steal-data-from-credit-card-swiping-machines-2017-09-29). Amazon shares, however, were up 0.4%.

Shares of Tesla Inc.(TSLA) were up 0.5%, even though shares of the electric-car maker are nearing their second-straight week of losses, (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesla-shares-are-facing-a-second-straight-week-of-losses-2017-09-28) down 2.7% with one session to go on Friday.

Read:Elon Musk unveils 'Mars City,' says his spaceship will take you 'anywhere on earth in under an hour' (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musk-unveils-mars-city-says-his-spaceship-will-take-you-anywhere-on-earth-in-under-an-hour-2017-09-29)

Shares of Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) jumped 6.5% a day after the food company raised its outlook (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tyson-shares-jump-after-company-ups-outlook-announces-layoffs-2017-09-28)and announced a restructuring that includes layoffs.

Read:Pier 1, Sherwin-Williams, Southwest issue profit and sales warnings on hurricanes, earthquakes (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pier-1-sherwin-williams-southwest-issue-profit-and-sales-warnings-on-hurricanes-earthquakes-2017-09-28)

What are other assets doing?

Asian stock markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nikkei-on-pace-for-its-best-month-of-2017-2017-09-28) closed mostly higher, while European markets were struggling for direction (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-set-for-best-month-of-2017-2017-09-29).

Oil prices were slightly lower, while all metals except copper advanced.

The ICE Dollar Index is set to break a six-month losing streak, up 0.4% for September.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 29, 2017 09:55 ET (13:55 GMT)