Market Roundup: Mixed Week Ends in New Market Highs

A climb in technology shares buoyed U.S. stocks, boosting the Nasdaq Composite to a fresh record on Monday. The gains lifted Apple, Google-parent Alphabet, Microsoft, and Facebook to records, the first time those companies—the five largest by market capitalization—all reached highs on the same day. The gains in the tech heavyweights came as investors are analyzing signs of lethargic domestic growth. U.S. factory activity expanded at a slower pace in April, the Institute for Supply Management said Monday, while Americans’ spending was flat in March for the second consecutive month, according to the Commerce Department. The following day, U.S. stock indexes edged higher, as gains in shares of industrial companies offset losses in the energy sector. Stocks have mostly climbed over the past two weeks, supported by earnings reports pointing to corporate strength. With more than two-thirds of S&P 500 companies having reported, firms are on track to post their best results since the third quarter of 2011. Corporate news drove swings in individual stocks on Tuesday while leaving major indexes little changed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the U.S. dollar and government-bond yields edged higher Wednesday after the Federal Reserve held interest rates unchanged. Major indexes pared early losses after the Fed’s announcement, which some investors and analysts said signaled the central bank is looking past recent signs of tepid economic growth and holding course toward raising interest rates in June. The S&P 500 inched higher Thursday, as gains in shares of consumer companies offset a slide in the energy sector. Commodity prices slid across the board, putting pressure on shares of energy companies. Metals slid amid concerns about Chinese demand for commodities such as steel and iron. Solid corporate earnings and a slightly stronger-than-expected April jobs report lifted the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite to fresh records on Fridays. Hiring data released by the Labor Department on Friday bolstered the case that the broader economy is strengthening after weak signals earlier this year. Still, many investors brushed off concerns about the U.S. economy’s soft first-quarter patch and this past week the Federal Reserve suggested it is committed to tightening monetary policy. Friday’s jobs report encouraged more confidence in the stock market, some investors and analysts said. Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 211,000 in April from the prior month.

Mixed Moves

Indices ended trading with mixed moves on Wednesday. The Dow closed in the green zone while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq shed some points. Moves were mixed on a variety of economic news. Comments from the May FOMC meeting showed growth slowed in the first quarter but the pace is likely to build.