August is supposed to be one of the months that is not so good for stocks. Just don’t tell that to the U.S. markets, with the week of August 12 all seeing new all-time highs! Friday’s results were mixed, but the reality is that there were just very few broad catalysts.
No one seems to really care that PPI and retail sales data confirmed no inflationary pressure. 24/7 Wall St. took a snapshot of the 4:00 pm closing bell, but these are the unofficial prices and they may have changed slightly on the official tally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 38.39 at 18,575.14 and the S&P 500 Index was down 1.91 at 2,183.88. The NASDAQ avoided being in the red and marked a new all-time high closing price for the NASDAQ after it rose 4.50 points to 5,232.89.
The 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.515% at the 4:00 pm closing bell, and the 30-year Treasury yield was 2.24%. Gold was marginally lower, by $4.72, to $1335.63 on Friday. Oil was up $1.20 at $44.69 on last look.
24/7 Wall St. tracked some unusual moves in several stocks, all of which played at least some part of why the market was not much higher.
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (NYSE: DD), or Dupont for the rest of us, was down 1.9% to $67.66. The driving force here was that the European Union opens an antitrust probe on the pending Dow Chemical and DuPont merger. Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) was down 2.4% at $52.33 on Friday. What is so interesting about this antitrust issue is that Dupont-Dow is supposedly going to break up into three companies after they complete their merger.
International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM) was down right at 1% at $161.95 after the close. One of IBM’s larger problems is that the turnaround remains elusive, yet the stock is over $8.00 higher than the consensus analyst price target.
Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) is no longer a Dow stock, but it may reflect a lack of enthusiasm in the metals sector. The shares closed down 2.4% at $10.17 on Friday. This was proven by United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X), which closed down 7.1% at $21.06 on Friday. Players like ArcelorMittal, Freeport, Vale and others closed lower for confirmation.
Noble Corporation plc (NYSE: NE) hit the 52-week low list yet again on Friday. This may not represent the sector as a whole, but that issue closed down 6.7% at $6.41 on Friday — and the new 52-week low is now $6.33. Noble’s 14.7 million shares was almost twice normal volume.
Friday was just one of those days where nothing took on any big traction. That’s called Dullsville. Don’t forget that the Dow can still go to 20,000 in 2017 — and it only needs the help of 7 stocks!