Investors celebrated the start of August with a basket of positive news on U.S. manufacturing, and deal-making sending all three of the major stock averages higher with the Nasdaq Composite securing its 29th record close of the year.
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||13075.449889||-313.98||-2.35%|
The tech-heavy composite is fast approaching a new milestone; 11,000. Earlier in the session, the rally was celebrated by President Trump in a tweet that included a jab at Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden.
Microsoft jumped on word the tech giant is in "preliminary discussions" to buy TikTok’s U.S. business, which was confirmed by Zhang Yiming, the CEO of TikTok's parent company ByteDance, in an internal memo. Trump blessed the potential deal yet noted he would be fine with any U.S. buyer.
"Here’s the deal. I don't mind if — whether it's Microsoft or somebody else — a big company, a secure company, a very American company buys it," Trump told reporters at the White House.
News of the talks was first reported by FOX Business.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||33810.16||-459.00||-1.34%|
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained over 236 points or 0.90 percent and the S&P 500 rose 0.72 percent both helped by gains in Merck and Boeing.
In other deal news, Marathon Petroleum sold Speedway to 7-Eleven in an all-cash deal valued at $21 billion which "establishes a relationship with 7-Eleven anchored by long-term fuel supply agreements for approximately 7.7 billion gallons per year, with additional growth opportunities" according to the company.
On the economic front, U.S. manufacturing activity rose to 54.2 in July, a slight bump from the current 52.6, a 16-month high. Any reading above 50 signals expansion.
In stock news, Clorox shares dropped over 4 percent after the maker of disinfectant wipes said sales for 2021 will increase at a “flat to single-digit” pace. The company is “recognizing there is significant uncertainty about future COVID-19 impacts related to various areas of its business,” according to its earnings release, which showed a “22% sales increase, including double-digit growth across all reportable segments” and a 28 percent jump in profit for the fiscal fourth quarter.
In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude rose nearly 1.4 percent to the $40.77 per barrel level while natural gas soared over 16 percent on forecasts of an incoming heatwave across the nation. Gold was little changed at $1,983 an ounce. Exchange-traded funds mirroring these commodities locked in gains.
|USO||UNITED STATES OIL FUND L.P.||45.34||+0.47||+1.05%|
|UNG||UNITED STATES NATURAL GAS FUND LP UNIT (POST REV SPLIT)||10.62||+0.04||+0.33%|
|GLD||SPDR GOLD SHARES TRUST - EUR ACC||170.82||-1.30||-0.76%|