US stocks started the week on a positive note with Amazon and Tesla leading the rally, pushing the Nasdaq to another record high. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 also hit a record high, wiping out losses from the covid-19 sell-off.
Sentiment was lifted by the US witnessing a slowdown in infections, while Pfizer and BioNTech expressed confidence in being able to submit their coronavirus vaccine candidate by October.
Better-than-expected economic reports and upbeat earnings calls from some major retailer also fueled markets last week. Even amid the cheer, the impasse in Congress over the new covid-19 relief plan kept trading volumes light during the week.
Performance of US Indices
US stocks closed higher on Friday, as PMIs came in stronger than expected. The IHS manufacturing PMI climbed to 53.6 in August, from 50.9 in the previous month, while the services index rose to 54.8, from July’s reading of 50. However, initial jobless claims climbed back above the 1 million mark last week, reigniting worries over the country’s economic recovery.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7% to end at 27,930.33 on Friday, but closed almost flat for the week. The gauge had recorded gains of 1.8% in the prior week. The S&P 500 index added 0.7% in the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index posted weekly gains of 2.7%.
Top US Stocks of the Week
Oracle Corporation’s (NYSE: ORCL) shares climbed more than rose over 2% on Tuesday on speculations of the company being in talks to acquire TikTok.
Shares of Walmart (NYSE: WMT) slipped around 1% on Tuesday, despite the retailer reporting stronger-than-expected quarterly results.
TJX Companies Inc’s (NYSE: TJX) shares plummeted 5% on Wednesday after the company reported downbeat Q2 earnings. The stock ended the week lower by 11%.
Shares of Synopsys, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNPS) gained around 9% on Thursday following stronger-than-expected quarterly results.
Alibaba’s (NYSE: BABA) stock fell 1% on Thursday despite the Chinese ecommerce giant reporting upbeat quarterly results. The stock ended the week with 5% gains.
Estee Lauder Companies Inc’s (NYSE: EL) shares declined around 7% on Thursday even after the company posted upbeat quarterly results.
Performance of European Indices
European stocks declined on Friday as investors worried about weak economic data and a surge in covid-19 cases in various countries of the region. The Eurozone composite PMI dropped to a two-month low reading of 51.6 in August, versus July’s 54.9, while the flash IHS Markit French composite PMI also dipped to a two-month low in August.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.2% on Friday and closed the week down by 0.8%. The German DAX 30 lost 0.5% on Friday, closing the week with losses of around 1.1%. The French CAC 40 declined 1.3%, while the FTSE 100 index lost 1.5% last week.
Top European Stocks of the Week
Shares of A.P. Moeller-Maersk rose around 5% on Wednesday after the company posted better-than-expected Q2 earnings and reinstating its forecast for the year.
Royal Unibrew’s shares gained about 8% after the Danish company raised its outlook for the year.
Shares of Galapagos NV fell more than 24% on Wednesday after the Dutch firm said its investigational arthritis drug is unlikely to be approved in its current form. The company is developing the drug in partnership with Gilead Sciences.
On Thursday, Antofagasta’s shares slid 6% after the company reported a 15% decline in revenue for the first half of the year. The company also cut its interim dividend by 42%.
John Laing’s stock fell 7% on Thursday after the group recorded a decline in its net asset value.
Shares of Frasers gained 13% after the retailer reported 7% growth in revenues.
The Forex Market
The British Pound gained versus the US dollar on Friday following encouraging UK retail sales data. The currency cut back most of the gains after a disappointing update related to Brexit trade talks. The GBP/USD pair closed the week flat.
The Canadian dollar slipped against the greenback on Friday following weaker-than-expected growth in retail sales. Canada’s retail sales climbed 23.7% in June, but was below the consensus view of 24.5% growth. The loonie ended the week in positive territory, with the USD/CAD down 0.7%.
The Crypto Market
Bitcoin started the week climbing past the $12,000 milestone. The digital currency gave back all the gains, however, amid a volatile week for cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, Ethereum also made a sharp decline during the week.