August 7, 2022

Stocks & Bonds: Small Gains on Wall St. Cap a Choppy Week

Shares rose on Wall Street on Friday, easing the losses sustained over the week, as gains in energy and technology stocks were enough to overcome concern that an impasse over raising the federal debt limit was putting the nation’s top credit rating in jeopardy.

The Standard Poor’s 500-stock index rose 7.27 points, or 0.56 percent, to 1,316.14. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 42.61 points, or 0.34 percent, to 12,479.73. The Nasdaq composite index rose 27.13 points, or 1 percent, to 2,789.80.

For the week, the S. P. 500 lost 2.1 percent; the Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.4 percent; and the Nasdaq dropped 2.45 percent.

“There’s a lot more company-specific issues driving stocks now, even though there’s still macro uncertainty about the debt negotiations in Washington and the European crisis,” said Jeffrey S. Coons, president of Manning Napier Advisors in Fairport, N.Y.

Stocks fell from their highs of the day after the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment declined to 63.8 in July from 71.5 in June. The gauge was projected to rise to 72.2, according to the median forecast of 62 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Estimates for the confidence measure ranged from 75 to 68.

Stocks briefly extended their advance after the European Banking Authority said eight banks failed the European Union stress tests with a combined shortfall in capital of 2.5 billion euros ($3.5 billion).

“The stress test results are coming in pretty much as expected, at least at the headline level,” said E. William Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Wealth Management in Philadelphia. “Everybody is waiting for more news on the U.S. debt ceiling and more about the E.U. sovereign debt situation, and nobody wants to get too far on one side or the other ahead of the weekend.”

Google stock rose 13 percent, to $597.62, after reporting sales that beat predictions, a sign that it was making progress expanding beyond search advertising. Sales, excluding revenue passed on to partner sites, rose to $6.92 billion. That topped the $6.57 billion average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Clorox shares gained 8.9 percent, to $74.55, its highest price since at least 1980. Carl C. Icahn offered to buy the company for about $10.2 billion in a move intended to draw out other potential bidders.

Shares of Petrohawk Energy, an oil and gas company, rallied 62 percent, to $38.17, after BHP Billiton agreed to buy the company for $12.1 billion in cash, betting natural gas demand would rise in the United States.

As a group, energy companies rose 2.3 percent, the most among 10 industries in the S. P. 500. Technology stocks added 1.6 percent.

Shares of Ralcorp Holdings fell 0.7 percent, to $86, dropping for a sixth consecutive day. The company, which makes Raisin Bran cereals and private-label food brands, plans to spin off Post Foods after failing to sell the unit to rival food makers or private-equity firms.

Flir Systems shares fell the most in the S. P. 500, slumping 9.9 percent, to $28.92. Flir, a maker of night-vision cameras used by American combat forces, reported second-quarter profit excluding some items of 35 cents a share, trailing the average analyst estimate by 4 cents, according to Bloomberg data.

Interest rates were lower. The Treasury’s benchmark 10-year note rose 12/32, to 101 27/32, and the yield fell to 2.91 percent from 2.95 percent late Thursday.

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