Stocks - Dow Bags Triple-Digit Gains to Eke Out Weekly Win

Aug 03, 2018

The dow notched triple-digit gains shrugging off data showing the U.S. economy created fewer jobs than expected last month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 0.54%. The S&P 500 rose 0.46%, while the Nasdaq Composite rose about 0.12%.

A late-surge in the Dow helped the index eke out a weekly win, despite heavy losses from industrials through the week on fears that the latest volley of trade threats between the U.S. and China puts the both countries on course for a full-blown trade war.

China said Friday it would impose duties of 25%, 20%, 10% and 5% on U.S. products worth more than $60 billion if the Trump administration followed through on threats to impose harsher tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

Sentiment on trade was lifted slightly after Larry Kudlow, Trump's top economic advisor, told reporters at the White House Friday that there had been some communication "at the highest level" on trade between the United States and China in recent days.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) and Boeing (NYSE:BA) - notable names most sensitive to escalating trade tensions – posted heavy losses for the week.

Energy stocks also kept a lid gains through the week, as oil prices posted a weekly slump on rising U.S. supplies and fears about oil demand as the U.S.-China trade spat continued.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for September fell 47 cents to settle at $68.49 a barrel.

Tech stocks continued their comeback from a rout last week, led by IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), as the latter added to its $1-trillion valuation that followed an upbeat earnings report seen earlier this week.

Corporate earnings also helped sentiment on the broader market as Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC) closed higher after reporting earnings that topped expectations. CBS (NYSE:CBS) rose nearly 1%, despite reporting earnings that undershot forecasts.

On the economic front, traders also mulled data from the U.S. Labor Department showing job hiring cooled and wage growth remained subdued.

The U.S. economy just 157,000 jobs in June, well below forecasts for 193,000 new jobs, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.9% and average hourly earnings grew 0.3% in July, and 2.7% in the 12 months through July, the Labor Department said on Friday.

The Federal Reserve said earlier this week that it would continue to gradually raise rates should the economy continue to show "sustained expansion," supported by a strong labor market and close-to-target inflation.

Top Dow Gainers and Losers Today:

IBM (NYSE:IBM), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Disney (NYSE:DIS) were among the top Dow gainers for the session.

Boeing (NYSE:BA), United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) and Home Depot (NYSE:HD) were among the worst Dow performers of the session.