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Dow and S&P 500 End at Records as Investors Look Past Negative Sentiment Report

The Dow and S&P 500 close at record highs for a fourth day as investors balanced an improving jobs picture against inflation pressure.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both pushed to their fourth straight record closes Friday as investors looked beyond falling U.S. consumer sentiment.

“Consumers have correctly reasoned that the economy’s performance will be diminished over the next several months," said Richard Curtin, director of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index. "[But] the extraordinary surge in negative economic assessments also reflects an emotional response, mainly from dashed hopes that the pandemic would soon end.”

The index slumped to 70.2, the lowest since December 2011, and was well below economists' estimates.

The U.S. has seen infections surge, mostly from the spread of the highly contagious delta variant. More than 117,000 new cases were diagnosed Thursday, according to Bloomberg.

The Dow finished up 15 points, or 0.04%, to 35,515, and the S&P 500 gained 0.16%. 

The Nasdaq turned positive shortly before the session ended, ticking up 0.04%.

For the week, the Dow rose 0.9%, the S&P 500 added 0.7% and the Nasdaq edged down less than 0.1%.

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The Dow and S&P 500 also set all-time intraday records Friday as investors weighed an improving employment picture against continuing inflationary pressures in the recovering U.S. economy.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury on Friday fell to 1.288%.

Shares of Walt Disney  (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report finished up 1% after the media and entertainment giant posted much stronger-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings and subscribers to Disney+ topped 100 million less than two years after the streaming service launched.

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The Dow and S&P 500 closed at records Thursday after the number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell for a third straight week. The figure indicated that the jobs market was bouncing back from last year's pandemic-induced recession.

At the same time, however, prices paid to producers rose 7.8% year over year in July, coming in above economists' forecasts and marking the largest annual increase in more than a decade.

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Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report finished 2.6% higher and Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Moderna, Inc. Report ended 0.4% lower after the Food and Drug Administration authorized third doses of the companies' vaccines for some people with compromised immune systems.