Stocks once again closed at a fresh all-time high, surpassing the records they set on Friday, as earnings season kicks off and investors digest economic data from China.
The S&P 500 (SPX) finished Monday little changed but nonetheless in positive territory, surpassing its last record by just about half a point. The S&P ended at 3,014 points.
All indexes also closed at all-time highs on Friday, finishing a week with a total of six records combined.
Earnings season will kick off in full swing this week. As usual, big banks go first and Citigroup (C) was leading the pack on Monday. The bank beat earnings estimates. Its shares recovered from earlier losses but are still down 0.1%, according to Refinitiv. JPMorgan (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GOLDMAN SACHS) and Wells Fargo (WFC) are due to report on Tuesday.
Investors are also digesting Chinese GDP data – which didn’t impact stocks as much as perhaps expected, even though growth hit a 27-year low.
The health of China’s economy has repercussions for global growth and is closely watched by investors. Nevertheless, traders shrugged the data point off.
China’s economy expanded at a pace of 6.2% year-over-year in the second quarter, its slowest quarterly growth rate since 1992. Despite the dramatic headline number, the slowdown was expected.
President Donald Trump tweeted in response, saying “the United States tariffs are having a major effect on companies wanting to leave China for non-tariffed countries.” That is why Beijing wants to make a deal with Washington, he added.
A closer look at the data reveals that “on the back of more government stimulus, June headed towards a slight recovery on several fronts,” wrote Björn Giesbergen, senior economist at Rabobank. China has pledged it would support its economy multiple times over the past months.
While China’s GDP growth slowed, retail sales for June beat consensus expectations and rose 9.8% on the year.