S&P 500 closes nearly 1% higher on softening inflation data, nabs 3rd week of gains: Live updates

Uber shares hit new 52-week high. How the pros are playing the stock
Uber shares hit new 52-week high. How the pros are playing the stock

Stocks rose Friday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 closing out their third winning weeks in a row as a measure of inflation closely watched by the Federal Reserve came in at its lowest in nearly two years.

The Dow jumped 176.57 points, or 0.50%, to 35,459.29. The S&P 500 added 0.99% to 4,582.23. The Nasdaq Composite gained 1.90% to 14,316.66.

All three major averages notched weekly gains with the 30-stock average up by about 0.66%. On Thursday, the Dow ended a 13-day win streak, a length not seen since 1987. The S&P advanced 1.01%, and the tech-heavy index is up 2.02%.

This week, investors cheered data showing cooling inflation and stronger-than-expected earnings reports that supported the case the U.S. could avoid a recession.

On Friday, June data for the personal consumption expenditures price index continued to show easing inflation. The gauge showed core PCE gained 0.2% month-over-month, in line with the 0.2% increase expected by economists polled by Dow Jones. Core PCE rose 4.1% from the year-ago period, lower than the anticipated 4.2%.

The data is of particular interest after the central bank raised interest rates earlier this week in a widely expected move. The Fed targets inflation at 2% annually.

"In the wake of stronger than expected GDP, and a better-than-expected earnings season, this could be the catalyst to send the market to new highs," wrote Gina Bolvin, president of Bolvin Wealth Management Group.

Earnings season continued with Dow member Procter & Gamble shares gaining nearly 3%. The consumer goods company behind Tide and other brands beat analysts' earnings and revenue expectations in its most recent quarter.

Intel jumped 6.6% as investors applauded a return to profitability, while Roku climbed 31% a day after beating Wall Street expectations on both the top and bottom lines.

On the other hand, Ford Motor shares fell 3.4% even though the automaker beat estimates and raised guidance. The company said its electric vehicle adoption was taking longer than expected due to higher costs.

Stocks close higher Friday

The major averages ended the week higher Friday.

The Dow jumped 176.57 points, or 0.50%, to 35,459.29. The S&P 500 added 0.99% to 4,582.23. The Nasdaq Composite gained 1.90% to 14,316.66.

Week to date, the 30-stock average rose 0.66%. The S&P advanced 1.01%, and the tech-heavy index climbed 2.02%.

— Sarah Min

The China Internet ETF posts best day since January

The China Internet ETF jumped about 7.4%, notching its best day since January 4 when it gained 8.81%. The index was led by East Buy. The U.S.-listed shares of TAL Education Group, which jumped 24%. IQIYI shares rose 28%.

This week, KWEB is up 12.5% in its best week since January 6 when it gained 14.47%.

— Gina Francolla, Sarah Min

July jobs report and more Big Tech earnings are in the week ahead

More Big Tech earnings and the jobs report are in the week ahead as investors wrap up a strong week that included a historic run for the Dow Jones Industrial Average

The Dow and the S&P 500 are headed for their third straight week of gains on Friday. On Wednesday, the 30-stock Dow posted a 13-day advance that matched the index's longest streak of gains going back to 1987. 

Markets continued their upward momentum as more inflation data pointed toward signs of cooling, and earnings came in far better than feared. That added to the bull case that the U.S. economy can manage a soft landing.

"While the economy isn't like white hot, it ain't bad," said Kim Forrest, founder and chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read the full story here.

— Sarah Min

Stocks are higher shortly into final hour of trading

The major averages were gaining in the final hour of trading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 194 points, or 0.55%. The S&P 500 advanced 1%, and the Nasdaq Composite rallied nearly 2%.

— Sarah Min

Raymond James gets bullish on small-cap bank

A strong second quarter from Business First Bancshares makes the stock a regional bank name to own, according to Raymond James.

Analyst Michael Rose upgraded Business First Bancshares to outperform from market perform on Friday after the company reported that its second quarter earnings rose year over year and relative to the first quarter.

"Our now constructive stance on BFST shares reflects its more measured approach to growth which is supportive of NIM/ net interest income growth moving forward ... Additionally, we see ongoing growth/ expansion in Texas (~37% of loans/ ~16% of deposits) as supportive of franchise value expansion," Rose said in a note to clients.

The bank is small, with a market cap of under $1 billion. The stock was up 23% on Friday.

— Jesse Pound

Utilities among S&P 500's worst weekly performers

Utilities stocks disappointed this week, dragging down the S&P 500 sector more than 2%.

As of 1:55 p.m. ET the sector was the worst performer in the broad-based index for the week, day, and year. It lost 0.6% during Friday's session and is down more than 5% since the start of 2023.

The biggest losers for the week included Nextera Energy and AES Corporation, last down more than 4% each. Evergy, Alliant Energy, Xcel Energy and Eversource Energy had shed at least 3% week to date.

— Samantha Subin

Electric vehicle stocks rise

Electric vehicle stocks gained on Friday as Ford Motor shares lost nearly 4% after postponing its EV production targets.

Ford on Thursday posted second-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street's estimates but pushed out production expectations due slower-than-anticipated EV adoption.

Tesla shares gained 4%, while Lucid Group popped more than 7%. Fisker and Nikola added 1% and 6.7%, respectively.

Another winner was Xpeng. Shares surged nearly 13% on the back of an upgrade from Jefferies. Earlier in the week, Volkswagen said it signed a deal to develop a two new EVs with the Chinese automaker

— Samantha Subin

Earnings season reaches midway point

With the S&P 500 more than halfway through second-quarter earnings season, here's how some of the largest companies are faring:

Of the 254 companies, 51% of the index, that have reported earnings, 79% have topped earnings expectations, while 63% have exceeded revenue estimates, according to Refinitiv.

Even so, earnings are expected to fall 6.4%, based on the blended growth rate. This would be the biggest contraction since third-quarter earnings in 2020.

— Robert Hum, Samantha Subin

Stifel upgrades Crocs to a buy

Stifel sees some positive tailwinds ahead for Crocs, upgrading the shoemaker to a buy from a hold rating.

"Profit pool diversification, improved balance sheet optionality, and a very forgiving valuation increase our confidence in risk adjusted return prospects for CROX shares," said Jim Duffy in a Thursday note to clients.

The stock fell 14.6% during Thursday's session after cutting the sales growth outlook for its Heydude brand.

But Duffy views the post-earnings selloff in shares as a reset and opportunity for investors. He adjusted his price target to $130 from $140, reflecting 27% upside from Thursday's close.

Shares gained 5.5% on Friday.

— Samantha Subin