Indexes soar to new heights
The major U.S. equity indexes rose this week on speculation that the Fed would consider lowering its discount rate at its July 31 meeting.
The S&P 500 reached the 3,000 mark in trading Wednesday and again Thursday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday surpassed 27,000 for the first time in its 123-year history.
Technology stocks led the push, while energy stocks got a boost from oil supply concerns surrounding Tropical Storm Barry and Iran tensions.
The week's records were the second high so far in 2019 for the DJIA, paltry by recent standards, while the S&P 500 has hit a new high nine times so far in the first six-plus months of this year.
Despite the overall strong year for equities, the month of May aside, most equities have barely dug themselves out of the hole they found themselves in after last year's volatile fourth quarter. Small-cap stocks are up 15.7%, year-to-date, but still down 8% from Sept. 30. Value has been the real star of the show, finally outpacing growth with a near 24% return year-to-date and 3.3% over the past nine months.
Visa topped its Dow Jones Industrial Average peers with a 37% gain so far in 2019, followed closely behind by Microsoft and its $1 trillion valuation. Only four of the 30 blue-chip companies were in the red, notably Walgreens, which was down 18.2%.
*Dow returns represent period post-spinoff from DowDuPont in March.