Wall Street Keeps Streak Going

News of Costco's results, dividend help push market up
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 15, 2023 4:01 PM CST
Wall Street Keeps Streak Going
Shoppers move down an aisle in a Costco warehouse Tuesday in Sheridan, Colo.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Wall Street drifted through mixed trading on Friday to put a quiet end to another rocking week. The AP reports:

  • The Dow rose 56.81 points, or 0.2%, to 37,305.16, and set a record for the third straight day.
  • The S&P 500 finished nearly unchanged for the day, down 0.36, or less than 0.1%, at 4,719.19. But it's still hanging within 1.6% of its all-time high set early last year, and it closed out a seventh straight winning week for its longest such streak in six years.
  • The Nasdaq climbed 52.36, or 0.4%, to 14,813.92.

Costco helped lead the market with a 4.4% gain. It reported stronger results for the latest quarter than analysts expected and said it will send $6.7 billion in cash to its shareholders through a special $15 dividend. That helped offset a 3.6% slump for Lennar. The homebuilder reported stronger profit for the latest quarter, but it also gave a forecast for a measure of profitability in the current quarter that fell short of analysts' expectations. Stocks overall bolted higher this week after the Federal Reserve seemed to give a nod toward the hopes that have sent Wall Street screaming higher since Halloween.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell at a press conference on Wednesday did not forcefully push back on traders' expectations that inflation has cooled enough for the central bank to shift to cutting interest rates after yanking them dramatically higher since early last year. A preliminary report on Friday indicated growth for US business activity may be ticking higher. It cited "looser financial conditions," which is another way of describing market movements that could encourage businesses and people to spend more. "Looser financial conditions have helped boost demand, business activity and employment in the service sector, and have also helped lift future output expectations higher," said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

(More stock market stories.)

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