Dow turns positive for 2020, with S&P on pace for best August since ‘84

Apple, Tesla shares will split following the closing bell Friday to trade on Monday

Stocks rallied to record highs Friday on stronger than expected economic data and with the race for the White House officially underway following President Trump's acceptance of the GOP nomination.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average turned positive for the year, returning to the highs of February, rising over 161 points or 0.57% closing at 28,653.87.

The Dow 30 is on pace for its best August since 1984 as is the S&P 500 which hit a fresh record Friday rising 0.67% while the Nasdaq rose 0.60%, respectively, both extended their longest streak of record closes in 2020. The Nasdaq is on pace for its best month since 2000 and the S&P has risen eight of the last nine weeks.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES27781.7+329.04+1.20%
TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
SP500S&P 5003363+27.53+0.83%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX11167.506924+82.26+0.74%

In economic news, the University of Michigan's final consumer sentiment index for August rose to a level of 74.1, exceeding estimates.

While personal income rose 0.4% and spending 1.5%, both exceeding estimates while June's personal spending data was revised higher to 6.2%.

Trump, in his acceptance speech for the Republican nominee, drew a sharp contrast between his policies and those of former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday evening, saying he would “again build the greatest economy in history” and that Biden was the “destroyer of America’s jobs.”

Trump also described himself as the president of law and order while arguing that “no one will be safe in Biden’s America.”

Election Day is 67 days away.

Looking at stocks, Abbott Laboratories reached a $750 million deal with the White House to supply 150 million rapid COVID-19 tests. The $5 test, which received Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization on Wednesday, will begin shipping in September.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
ABTABBOTT LABORATORIES108.83+3.64+3.46%

Apple Inc. and Tesla Inc. are in focus as both companies will split their stocks at the close of trading on Friday. Apple investors will receive an additional three shares for each share owned while Tesla investors will receive four.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
AAPLAPPLE INC.115.81+1.72+1.51%
TSLATESLA INC.429.01+9.94+2.37%

Coca-Cola Co. will offer voluntary separation packages to 4,000 employees as it restructures its business into nine operating units from 17. The company says the reorganization will result in $350 million to $550 million in severance expenses.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
KOCOCA-COLA COMPANY49.37+0.45+0.92%

Looking at earnings, Hewlett-Packard Co. reported strong quarterly results as the work-from-home environment fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic produced a 32% increase in notebook computer sales.

Meanwhile, rival Dell Technologies Inc. also posted solid results amid double-digit growth in consumer devices, including notebooks, commercial notebooks and premium consumer PCs.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
HPQHP INC.18.99+0.07+0.37%
DELLDELL TECHNOLOGIES67.69-0.71-1.04%

Big Lots Inc. reported better-than-expected top- and bottom-line results as discount shoppers thronged the company’s stores and website in the wake of COVID-19. Adjusted earnings of $2.75 per share were a record for the April-through-June period.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
BIGBIG LOTS INC.44.60-2.47-5.25%

Looking at commodities, gold surged $28.60 to $1,964.60 and West Texas Intermediate crude oil was flat at $42.97.

U.S. Treasurys were little changed with the yield on the 10-year note holding near 0.727%.

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European markets were lower, with Germany’s DAX down 0.48%, Britain’s FTSE falling 0.61% and France’s CAC slipping 0.26%.

In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite added 1.61% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.56% while Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.41% after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced he was stepping down due to health concerns.

He is expected to talk with President Trump on August 31.