Overview NASDAQ Composite Sets New All-Time High
July 20, 2015 — Most stocks advanced Friday to cap a second week of gains with the NASDAQ Composite powering higher to finish at a new, all-time high. The S&P 500 posted its strongest weekly gain since March, the Dow Industrials finished the week back above 18,000 and the NASDAQ 100 Index surged over 5.5% to a 15-year high. On a backdrop of relief stemming from a fresh bailout agreement for Greece, investors turned their focus toward earnings. Sentiment also improved after China reported second quarter GDP growth of 7%, topping estimates for 6.8%. The STOXX Europe 600 Index gained 4.3% for its best week since January.
In weekly economic highlights, U.S. retail sales declined 0.3% in June, led by a 1.1% pullback in auto sales, while electronic & appliance stores sales climbed 1%. Wholesale prices rose 0.4% last month, but remain 0.7% lower from this time last year. Meanwhile, the consumer price index also showed some traction in June, rising 0.3% and is up 0.1% year-over-year. On Friday, the University of Michigan’s preliminary reading for July consumer sentiment fell to 93.3 from a final June level of 96.1. Lastly, new home construction starts climbed last month to the second-highest level since November 2007.
For the week, including dividends, the Dow Industrials returned 1.86%, the S&P 500 advanced 2.42% and the NASDAQ Composite surged 4.25%. Eight of the ten major sector groups gained on the week, led by Technology (+5.26%), Financials (+3.02%) and Healthcare (+2.28%). Utilities (+0.85%) rose the least last week, while Energy (-1.18%) and Materials (-0.13%) lagged. Treasury prices edged higher during the week, dampening the yield on 10-year Treasury notes lower by five basis points to finish at 2.348%.