Wall Street ended a turbulent Friday trading day with modest earnings that pushed major indexes to all-time highs.
The latest milestones marked the best month for the wider market in almost a year, as investors balanced the promotion of corporate profit growth with concerns about rising inflation and disruptions in the supply chain.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.2% after fluctuating between small gains and losses for most of the day. That was good enough that the benchmark reached the fourth highest value of all time this week. The index, which fell 4.8% in September, returned with 6.9% growth for October, the highest monthly growth since November 2020. The S&P 500 has now risen 22.6% for the year.
The Dow Jones and Nasdaq industry averages rose 0.3% on Friday. Both also set the highest values of all time.
Bond yields fell mostly. The 10-year treasury yield fell to 1.55% from 1.56% late Thursday.
Investors continued to focus on corporate profits as they sought clues as to how companies cope with persistent supply chain delays and rising inflation.
“It’s been a big week of earnings,” said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade. “Pretty since noon in the east, we’ve been kind of moving back and forth, so it tells me that most people are where they want to be at the end of the month.”
The S&P 500 rose 8.96 points to 4,605.38 points. The declines outnumbered those who gained. Nevertheless, earnings on stocks of technology, healthcare and communications services outweighed losses elsewhere in the market.
The Dow added 89.08 points and finished at 35,819.56; The Nasdaq rose 50.27 points to 15,498.39 points. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index slipped 0.79 points, or less than 0.1%, to 2,297.19.
Many companies, most recently Apple and Amazon, have pointed to challenges due to rising costs or supply chain problems.
Apple fell 1.8% a day after the iPhone maker said its revenue lagged behind analysts ’forecasts in the fourth fiscal quarter because a lack of supply made it harder to meet demand. Internet retail giant Amazon lost 2.2% after higher costs and supply chain problems slashed its third-quarter financial results and revenue forecasts.
The warnings from Apple and Amazon raise concerns that the economic recovery is facing a more stubborn path through the holiday shopping season as people pay more for products and wait longer to receive them.
“It’s really impressive that the market has managed to shake off Amazon and Apple,” Kinahan said.
The latest figures from the Commerce Department show that consumer spending rose by only 0.6% in September, a warning sign for the economy, which remains in the grip of a pandemic and protracted high inflation.
Investors ended a busy week of earnings as several large companies reported different results. Starbucks fell 6.3% after reporting solid earnings in the fourth fiscal quarter but weak revenues. US Steel jumped 12.9% after the steelmaker reported strong financial results in the third quarter and raised its dividends.
Newell Brands, a maker of Rubbermaid and other consumer products, rose 5.1% in the third quarter, reporting solid results.
AbbVie rose 4.6%, one of the biggest gains among healthcare companies in the S&P 500 index, after the drugmaker reported strong financial results in the third quarter and raised its profit forecast for the year.
In addition to earnings, Wall Street expects a Federal Reserve meeting next week as the central bank approaches a reduction in bond purchases that helped keep interest rates low.