Market Outlook – August 3, 2018

Shaky Trading Session for U.S. Stocks

 

On Thursday, U.S. stocks ended a rocky session higher and aided by a record rally of Apple Inc. (AAPL) as it became the first $1 trillion company. The S&P 500 Index climbed 13.86 points (+0.49%) to close at 2,827.22.  Seven of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors ended in positive territory with the tech sector gaining 1.4%.

The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 95.40 points (+1.24%) to finish at 7,802.69 on the strength of Apple’s gains. It was a struggle for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The blue-chip index lost 7.66 points (-0.03%) to end at 25,326.16. The declines of DowDuPont Inc. (DWDP), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) pulled down the benchmark and offset Apple’s rise.

Apple Hits $1 Trillion Market Cap

 

Apple Inc. (AAPL) made history on Thursday as the iPhone maker became the first publicly traded U.S. Company to reach the $1 trillion market capitalization. Investors were expecting that the milestone would be reached when the stock price hits $203.45.

However, the threshold moved higher on Wednesday to $207.05. Apple’s hefty stock buybacks adjusted the mark. Before noon ET, the share price climbed to $207.05 to make it official. As of August 2, AAPL’s price is $207.39 and is  now up +22.55% year-to-date.

China Loses Rank as the World’s Second-Largest Stock Market

 

The Financial Times reported on Friday that Japan has dislodged China as the world’s second-largest stock market. The report showed that the total worth of Chinese stocks at the market close on Thursday is $6.09 trillion. Meanwhile, Japanese shares had a total market value of $6.16 trillion.

The sudden drop in China’s rank came after the Asian markets declined in the previous session. Also, the news that the Trump administration was considering raising the proposed tariff on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25% impacted on the Chinese market.

U.S. Labor Dept. to Release July Jobs Report

 

The U.S. Labor Department is set to publish the highly anticipated July jobs report on Friday at 8:30 a.m. (1230 GMT). Analysts say that is likely U.S. companies maintained a strong pace of hiring last month. They are telling that the robust economy was helping the labor market to overcome trade tensions.

The situation could allow the Federal Reserve to implement an interest rate hike in September. A Reuters survey of economists see nonfarm payrolls to rise by 190,000 jobs in July compared with the 213,000 new jobs in June.

Michael Gapen, chief economist at Barclays in New York said, “We remain watchful for signs that the protectionist trade policies put in place by the Trump administration are slowing hiring, but right now the labor market appears resilient.”

Bezos to Double Space Company’s Workforce

 

Amazon.com Inc.’s (AMZN) Jeff Bezos wants his private space company to exit the start-up mode and move into the production phase despite signs that his firm’s heavy rocket lift-off in 2020 may slip behind schedule.

For the past three years, Blue Origin added hundreds of engineers for the purpose of ramping up an expansion. The Kent, Washington-based company is looking to double its current workforce to around 3,000 employees over the next two to three years.

Bezos promises that his rocket New Glenn will be able to haul satellites and, eventually, people into orbit. The company is hoping to win lucrative military and commercial contracts if the program is successful. Executives from Blue Origin have stated publicly that test flights will begin within two years.

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