S&P 500 and Nasdaq Enjoy Record-Breaking Week

The Dow languished, despite many blue-chips hitting record highs

Laura McCandless
Aug 21, 2020 at 3:03 PM
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It's been a week worth celebrating for the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) and S&P 500 Index (SPX). After spending last week and the start of this week within striking distance, Tuesday finally brought a return to pre-pandemic levels for the SPX, as well as an all-time closing high for the Nasdaq. The Nasdaq, with help from big tech, extended those gains to close the week on a high note. 

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) started slow, toiling with three-day losing streak by Wednesday. All three benchmarks slid after the Federal Reserve reminded investors that the pandemic still poses a threat to the economy. Throughout the week, the second stimulus stalemate in Congress as well as U.S.-China tensions also weighed on the broader market, with U.S. jobless claims back over the million mark cultivating more caution on Thursday. Economic data wasn't dismal for long, however, with positive manufacturing and home sales data lightening the tension on Friday. For the week, the Dow is heading toward a weekly loss, while the SPX and Nasdaq are on track for their fourth-straight weekly wins.  

Dow Stocks Hit New Highs Despite Benchmark Slump

Despite the week spent in the red, plenty of individual Dow stocks hit all-time highs. Home Depot (HD) got an early-week boost into new heights after reporting a rise in foot traffic in its stores since April. Meanwhile, fellow blue-chip retailers Walmart (WMT) and Nike (NKE) nabbed record highs of their own, the former attracting a horde of options traders after a top-line beat. Most notably, however, Apple (AAPL) became the first publicly traded company in the U.S. to attain a market valuation of $2 trillion, extending fresh highs throughout the week. 

Retail Stocks Have Their Day in the Sun

It wasn’t just blue-chip retailers enjoying outsized gains. Target (TGT) scored a record high as well after its quarterly report saw digital sales nearly triple year-over-year. Chinese e-tailer Alibaba (BABA), meanwhile, shook off a potential U.S. ban to come within a chip-shot of its July record high. Another retailer that caught the ire of U.S. President Donald Trump this week was Goodyear Tire & Rubber (GT), after a leaked slide of employee training listing "MAGA" hats as unacceptable. Elsewhere, options bulls flooded Lowe’s (LOW) after the home improvement name’s stellar turn in the earnings confessional, while this outperforming sports retailer is overdue for upgrades.

Consumer Data Out Alongside Retail Earnings Next Week

Next week will start out fast, with plenty of economic data and earnings for investors to sift through. Specifically, more earnings from the retail sector, two of which being Urban Outfitters (URBN) and Best Buy (BBY). Gross domestic product (GDP) and the Chicago Fed national activity index are on tap as far as economic data as well. Meanwhile, see what Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White has to say about how stocks perform after doubling, and how "reopening stocks" are handling the increased travel numbers.


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