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Stock Market News for Jul 30, 2021

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Wall Street closed higher on Thursday despite a series of weak economic data. Market participants' sentiment remained buoyant on strong second quarter earnings results. All three major stock indexes ended in green.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 0.4% or 153.60 points to close at 35,084.53. Notably, 24 components of the 30-stock index ended in the green while 4 in red and one unchanged. In intraday trade, the blue-chip index recorded an all-time high of 35,171.52. Moreover, The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finished at 14,778.26, gaining 0.1% due to strong performance by large-cap technology stocks.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 moved up 0.4% to end at 4,419.15. In intraday trade, the benchmark index recorded an all-time high of 4,429.97. The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY), the Financials Select Sector SPR (XLF), the Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) and the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) gained 1.1%, 1.1%, 1.1% and 1%, respectively. Nine out of eleven sectors of the broad-market index closed in green while two in red.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was down 3.3% to 17.70. A total of 9.13 billion shares were traded on Thursday, lower than the last 20-session average of 9.86 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 2.34-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.22-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.

Strong Second-Quarter Earnings So Far

Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC - Free Report) reported second-quarter 2021 earnings of $6.42 per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5.75. Total sales of $9,151 million outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $8,708 million. (Read More)

Ford Motor Co. (F - Free Report) reported second-quarter 2021 earnings of $0.13 per share in contrast to the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss per share of $0.11. Its consolidated second-quarter revenues came in at $26.8 billion, up 38% year over year. (Read More)

Consequently, shares of Ford and Northrop Grumman were up 3.8% and 1.5%, respectively. Ford sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Economic Data

The Department of Commerce reported that the U.S. GDP grew at 6.5% in second-quarter 2021, well below the consensus estimate of 8.8%. First-quarter's figure was revised downward to 6.3% from 6.4% reported earlier. Despite missing estimate, in absolute term, U.S. GDP in second-quarter 2021 came in at $19.4 trillion, exceeding $19.2 trillion recorded in fourth-quarter 2019, the last quarter before the global outbreak of the coronavirus.

Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) soared 11.8% in second-quarter beating 11.4% in the first quarter. The core (excluding volatile food and energy items) PCE jumped 6% in second quarter compared with an upwardly revised 2.7% in the previous quarter. The PCE inflation climbed 6.4%, its highest since 1982. The core PCE inflation - Fed's favorite inflation gauge -  surged 6.1%, its highest since 1983.

Gross private domestic investment fell 3.5% due to declines in private inventory and residential investment. Government spending rate dropped 5%. Non defense government spending fell 10.4%. Business investment rose 3% owing to a higher spending on equipment and intellectual property. Investment in new housing plummeted 10%.

The Department of Labor reported that weekly jobless claims dropped 24,000 to 400,000 for the week ended Jul 24, higher than the consensus estimate of 379,000. Previous week's data was revised upward from 419,000 to 424,000. Continuing claims (those who have already received benefits) rose 7,000 to 3.27 million for the week ended Jul 17. As of Jul 10, around 13.2 million people were reportedly receiving benefits through eight separate state or federal programs.

The National Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales dropped 1.9% in June in contrast to the consensus estimate of an increase of 0.5%. May's was revised upward to an increase of 8.3% from 8% reported initially.

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