Stock Market Today: Stocks Notch Best Week in Months
Nike was a big winner on Wall Street after the company's blowout earnings report.
It was a solid end to a strong week for stocks.
In addition to riding momentum from the bipartisan infrastructure proposal announced Thursday, Wall Street digested a not-so-bad reading on inflation. Specifically, the personal consumption and expenditures (PCE) index rose 0.4% month-over-month, while core PCE, which excludes volatile food and energy prices – increased 0.5% from April, both figures lower than economists were projecting.
"Today's inflation data should calm some nerves about runaway inflation," says Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist at LPL Financial. "Remember, the PCE is the Fed's favorite measure of inflation, and it very well could be near a peak in inflation, which should help the Fed keep its dovish policy stance."
The S&P 500 Index finished Friday up 0.3% at 4,280 – a new record high, and its best weekly showing (+2.7%) since early February – as bank stocks soared on positive results to the Fed's stress tests (which will allow financial institutions to boost buybacks and dividends).
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.7% to 34,433 – its strongest week (+3.4%) since mid-March – as Nike (NKE) surged 15.5% on a big fiscal fourth-quarter beat. The athletic apparel retailer also said it expects fiscal 2022 sales to top $50 billion.
And, after a choppy start, the Nasdaq Composite eased back 0.1% at 14,360, though still its best week (+2.4%) since early April.
Other action in the stock market today:
- The small-cap Russell 2000 eked out a fractional gain to finish at 2,334.
- Virgin Galactic Holdings (SPCE) soared 38.9% today after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave the go-ahead for the company to fly commercial passengers on future spaceflights.
- CarMax (KMX) spiked 6.7% after the online used vehicle retailer reported fiscal first-quarter earnings of $2.63 per share on revenues of $7.7 billion – well above what analysts were expecting. The company is guiding for $33 billion on revenues and 2 million vehicles sold by fiscal 2026.
- U.S. crude oil futures gained 1% to end at $74.05 per barrel, with black gold surging 3% on a week-over-week basis.
- Gold futures ended with a marginal gain at $1,777.80 an ounce.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) fell 2.2% to 15.62.
- Next week's earnings calendar features some notable names, including Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), Micron (MU) and Walgreens (WBA).
Bitcoin Closes Out Tough Week With Another Loss
One area of weakness in the market today: cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin prices plunged 7.1% to finish at $32,309, and ended the week down 8.8% (Bitcoin markets don't close; price taken at 4 p.m. ET).
"China's four biggest banks this week refused to help their customers trade Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies", says Louis Navellier, founder and chief investment officer of Navellier & Associates, Inc.
But volatility in the cryptocurrency is nothing new. In mid-April, Bitcoin topped out at a record high above $64,000 before sinking all the way down to $30,000 just weeks later and then bouncing back up to $40,000.
Bitcoin and other digital assets remain highly speculative and aren't for the faint of heart, but for the crypto-curious, here's our primer answering common questions asked about Bitcoin.
And for investors who are considering dipping their toes into crypto space, but would like a less-risky option, consider focusing on larger, established companies that are profiting from this technology. Read on as we highlight a list of seven cryptocurrency stocks (and one fund) that have embraced this phenomenon.