Dow edges to fresh record on strong US retail sales


NEW YORK: The Dow edged to a fresh record Friday following a strong US retail sales report, but the S&P 500 finished a strong week on negative note.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1 percent to 18,516.55, winning a record for the fourth straight day.

The broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.1 percent to 2,161.74, snapping its week of consecutive high marks, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.1 percent at 5,029.59.

“We’ve had an incredible run,” said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade. “Things don’t continue to go straight up.”

US retail sales jumped 0.6 percent, exceeding expectations, bolstered by strong gains in building materials and garden supplies and most categories.

Most travel-related stocks were in retreat after a violent attack in Nice, France killed 84. Cruise companies Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Lines lost 2.2 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively, while Priceline fell 1.2 percent.

Wells Fargo dropped 2.5 percent as it reported second-quarter earnings of $1.01 per share, meeting expectations. The bank said it continued to face pressure from soured loans to the troubled oil and gas industry.

Food supplement and diet marketing company Herbalife gained 9.9 percent after it settled US Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived consumers over the potential gains for selling its products.

The agency ruled Herbalife is not a pyramid scheme as alleged by activist investor Bill Ackman.

Biotech shares advanced, with Celgene climbing 1.4 percent, Biogen 2.9 percent and Gilead Sciences 1.3 percent. AFP



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