Friday, 22 August 2014

S&P 500 makes new record high amid positive US economic data

The S&P 500 made a new record high on Thursday, rising 0.3 percent to 1,992.37.

Positive US economic data on Thursday helped boost stocks. Existing home sales rose 2.4 percent in July, initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 14,000 to 298,000 last week, Markit's preliminary US manufacturing PMI rose to 58.0 in August from 55.8 in July and the Conference Board's leading economic index increased 0.9 percent last month.

There were also positive economic data from Japan on Thursday, where the preliminary reading of the Markit/JMMA manufacturing PMI showed a rise to 52.4 in August from 50.5 in July.

However, in the euro area, Markit's composite PMI fell to 52.8 in August from 53.8 in July based on a preliminary reading, and the European Commission's consumer confidence index for the region fell to minus 10.0 in August from minus 8.4 in July.

China's manufacturing growth also slowed in August, HSBC's preliminary PMI showing a decline to 50.3 this month from 51.7 in July.

Also slowing was UK retail sales growth, which increased just 0.1 percent in July, down from 0.2 percent in June.

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