Stocks - S&P 500 Closes Higher as Facebook Rally Lifts Tech

Aug 06, 2018

The S&P 500 closed higher Monday, led by a rise in tech and financials as investors shrugged off the ongoing U.S. China-trade spat.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 0.16%. The S&P 500 rose about 0.35%, while the Nasdaq Composite rose about 0.61%.

Financials were driven higher by a 3% surge in Berkshire Hathaway B (NYSE:BRKb) stock after the conglomerate reported profits that topped analysts estimates.

The company posted a June quarter operating profits of $4,190 per Class A share, up 67% year over year, above Wall Street estimates for $3,387 per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) also supported a move higher in financials, closing nearly 1% higher as the Wall Street banking giant is reportedly considering a plan to offer custody for crypto funds.

Tech extended gains from last week, led by surge in Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stock as bargain-hunters helped the social media company pare some losses from its sharp selloff seen last week.

Facebook stock rallied following a Wall Street Journal report suggesting the company had asked banks for data to help build out financial products. Some market participants said the move could help the company increase user engagement.

Facebook, however, denied the story published in the Journal, claiming it was "not true."

Rising energy stocks also supported the broader averages as oil price settled higher amid renewed expectations for steep losses of Iranian crude after the White House confirmed Monday financial penalties on the Islamic Republic would come into effect Tuesday at 12:01 AM ET.

Oil prices lost some momentum, however, heading into settlement after Iranian President Rouhani said he would be open to negotiations if the U.S. is "sincere."

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude futures for September rose 0.8% to settle at $69.04 a barrel.

The trend of mostly bullish earnings, meanwhile, continued. Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) closed more than 3% higher after reporting earnings that beat expectations, but revenues fell short. SeaWorld rallied to close 16% higher as a surprise rise in attendance numbers help earnings beat expectations.

In other corporate news, PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) announced Indra Nooyi would step down as chief executive on Oct. 3 and would be replaced by Ramon Laguarta.

The upbeat start to the week for U.S. stocks was held back somewhat as traders continued to fret rising U.S.-China tensions after China vowed to stick out the trade war.

President Trump is orchestrating "street fighter-style deceitful drama," forcing the United States' trading partners to "cede their interests to those of the U.S.," China Daily reported Monday.

Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:

Jacobs Engineering Group (NYSE:JEC), DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH) and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session.

Newell Brands (NYSE:NWL), Praxair (NYSE:PX) and Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC) were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.