Stocks end a winning week with little fanfare

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CFRA Research Chief Investment Strategist Sam Stovall on the economic impact from tariffs and the push for a phase two of tax reform and the outlook for stocks.

U.S. stocks finished the session modestly lower after spending a bulk of the day in positive terrority. Equities traded in a tight range with volume lower than average in part due to a summer Friday. Trump's criticisms of the European Union and China, as well as the Federal Reserve, weighed on equities earlier in the session before investors shook most of those concerns off.

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I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES27217.27-2.58-0.01%
SP500S&P 5002991.85+7.43+0.25%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX8196.929963+11.72+0.14%
MSFTMICROSOFT CORP.135.73-0.54-0.40%

For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite clocked modest gains.

Microsoft was a stand out, rising to a new record after a stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings report. Shares on Friday rose closed around the $106 level. Amazon also rose after the team at Deutsche Bank predicted the shares could hit $2,200 per share.

MSFTMICROSOFT CORP.135.73-0.54-0.40%
AMZNAMAZON.COM INC.1,973.79-18.24-0.92%

In broader news, Trump complained, in a series of tweets, about the EU and China cheapening their currencies and lowering interest rates to the detriment of American exporters. Shortly after those tweets the euro rose against the greenback and U.S. stocks took a modest hit.

The president also tweeted that bad trade deals are hurting American farmers.

Additionally, investors mulled Trump's comments on the Federal Reserve made Thursday when he told CNBC that he does not agree with the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases this year after Chairman Jerome Powell took over for Janet Yellen earlier this year.

“I put in a very good man in the Fed,” Trump said, referring to Powell. “I don’t necessarily agree with it because he’s raising interest rates.”

The Fed has raised rates two times this year, and policy makers expect two more rate hikes before the end of 2018. Testifying before Congress this week, Powell reiterated the U.S. economy is humming along and should continue to do so.

"Looking ahead, my colleagues on the FOMC and I expect that, with appropriate monetary policy, the job market will remain strong and inflation will stay near 2 percent over the next several years" said Powell in prepared congressional testimony on the central bank’s semi-annual Monetary Policy Report on the U.S. economy Tuesday.


In commodities, oil got a pop returning to the $70 level, while gold was little changed after hitting a yearly low earlier in the week.