Keep That Streak. With the three major stock indexes closing in the black on Friday, the S&P 500 registered its first five-week winning streak since February.
The daily gain came even though President Donald Trump said he hasn’t agreed to rolling back tariffs on Chinese imports. Consumer sentiment remained high in November. Gold fell to its lowest level in three months. The small-cap Russell 2000 index is nearing a very bullish level in terms of technical analysis. And Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren rolled out a calculator for any billionaires who might be confused about how much they would pay under her wealth-tax plan. In today’s After the Bell, we…
- look at the mixed messages coming out of the White House regarding removing tariffs;
- watch the stock market shrug it off;
- and check on how American consumers feel about the economy.
Not So Fast
All three major indexes finished with minor gains on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 6.44 points, or 0.02%, to 27681.24, while the S&P 500 added 7.90 points, or 0.26%, to 3093.08 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 40.80 points, or 0.48%, to 8475.31.
Stocks fell in the morning after President Donald Trump told reporters that he “hasn’t agreed to anything” regarding an initial trade deal, referring to headlines Thursday saying the U.S. and China will roll back some tariffs on each other’s goods if an agreement is reached. Both Chinese and U.S. officials indicated on Thursday that could happen, creating optimism among investors that pushed the 10-year Treasury yield to its highest level since July 31. Treasury yields rise when prices fall, as they do when haven investments become less appealing.
There have been reports that the rollback of tariffs is facing some internal opposition in the White House. That isn’t surprising given that tariffs have been the U.S.’s main source of leverage in demanding that China address issues such as currency manipulation, intellectual property theft, and unfair government subsidies.
Stocks fell following the president’s remarks, but all three major indexes regained their footing and closed above the break-even line.
Trump’s remarks might have been offset by another set of monthly figures showing consumer sentiment remains near its highs for the economic cycle. The University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment survey posted a preliminary November reading of 95.7, up from October’s 95.5.
Consumers are slightly more positive about the economic outlook for the following six months, but slightly less optimistic about their current financial situations. The gauge of consumers’ views on current conditions declined to 110.9 in November from 113.2 in October, while a barometer of their expectations rose to 85.9 from 84.2.
Consumer sentiment usually affects how much people are willing to spend, which has been the backbone of the U.S. economy. It has become even more important now as business investment has been weakening.
“Although consumers have become somewhat more cautious spenders, they see no reason to engage in the type of retrenchment that causes recessions,” said Richard Curtin, the chief economist of the survey. Reductions in interest rates this year might have bolstered American households’ purchasing power and made them more upbeat about the economic outlook.
Write to Evie Liu at firstname.lastname@example.org