The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the month with style: a new intraday and closing record and its best monthly gain since February.
The Dow added 0.28%, hitting a record close of 21,891. The blue-chip index rose 2.3% for July, its fourth month with gains and its largest increase since a 4.8% rise in February. It was the Dow's fourth session of records in a row.
The S&P 500 dropped slightly, by 0.07%. Even so, the index also enjoyed its largest monthly increase since February. For the month, the S&P 500 rose 2.1%.
The Nasdaq declined by 0.42%.
Boeing Co. (BA) led the Dow after issuing a positive outlook for sales in India. The aircraft manufacturer expects regional airlines to order up to 2,100 new models over the next two decades, a record forecast for India. Boeing shares were up more than 1% on Monday.
Apple Inc. (AAPL) declined by less than 1% ahead of its earnings report on Tuesday, Aug. 1. The world's largest company is expected to post earnings of $1.57 a share during its quarter that ended in June, a 10% increase from a year earlier. Sales are forecast to have climbed nearly 6% to $44.9 billion.
Discovery Communications Inc. (DISCA) agreed to acquire Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. (SNI) in a cash-and-stock deal worth $14.6 billion. The deal, which values Scripps at $90 a share, represents a 34% premium to Scripps' trading levels on July 18, before reports of negotiations surfaced.
Discovery fell 8% after a disappointing second quarter. The network earned 68 cents a share, 4 cents below estimates, while revenue of $1.75 billion missed by $10 million. Foreign exchange ate into profit. Adjusted earnings declined by 4%, though rose 9% when excluding currency headwinds.
XO Group Inc. (XOXO) reported a slightly better-than-expected quarter. The lifestyle media company earned 11 cents a share, in-line with estimates. Revenue increased 9.1% to $42.23 million, $720,000 above consensus.
Sohu.com Inc. (SOHU) jumped 11% on a quarterly revenue beat and solid outlook. Revenue of $461.17 million was up nearly 10% from a year earlier and exceeded estimates by $26.5 million. A net loss of $1.85 a share was 27 cents steeper than anticipated. For the third quarter, Sohu anticipates revenue between $480 million and $510 million, higher than $474.6 million consensus.
HSBC Group PLC (HSBC) posted stronger-than-expected first-half earnings and launched an additional $2 billion share buyback program as Europe's biggest bank continues to see firmer growth in Asian markets.
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HSBC said pretax profit for the first six months of the year wast $10.2 billion, up 5.15% from the same period last year. Revenue for the first half was $26.2 billion, down 11% from last year "primarily due to currency translation differences, the absence of fair value movements on our own debt and revenue from the operations in Brazil that we sold," HSBC said.
The bank also said it would add a further $2 billion to its existing share buyback program, taking it to $5.5 billion since the second half of 2016. American depositary receipts of HSBC were rising 2.6% on Monday.
Nearly three-fifths of S&P 500 companies have reported earnings so far this reporting season. Of those, 72.7% have exceeded profit estimates, while 70.2% have topped revenue estimates, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Crude oil prices traded above $50 overnight before settling lower to trade under that level again. The earlier bump was tied to Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' decision to meet next week to discuss why some members were falling short of a commitment to limit output. The countries will convene in Abu Dhabi on Aug. 7-8.
Dynavax Technologies Corp. (DVAX) surged 71% higher after a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel ruled on Friday afternoon that data supports the safety of its hepatitis B vaccine. The positive ruling set off a string of analyst upgrades on Monday. JPMorgan upgraded to overweight from neutral and increased its price target to $26 from $7. RBC Capital upgraded to outperform from sector perform.
Jefferies downgraded its rating on Coach (COH) stock to hold from buy on Monday morning. The firm said the positives it highlighted in its previous "buy" rating have now been priced into the stock. These positives included the power of the brand, the Kate Spade acquisition, and the expectation of a strongly executed turnaround.
Sprint Corp. (S) declined 3% after Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR) said it wasn't interested in buying the company in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.. The statement from Charter, the cable giant, follows a report by the Journal last week that Sprint Chairman Masatoshi Son had been in talks with both Charter and Comcast Corp. about possible business combinations but was pushing for an outright merger with Charter. Bloomberg also reported Friday that Charter was cool on the proposal but that talks were continuing.
The complex proposal called for the creation of a new publicly traded entity that would combine Sprint and Charter and be controlled by Japan's SoftBank Group Corp. (SFTBY) , people familiar with the matter had told the Journal. SoftBank, whose chairman is also Son, already controls Sprint.
Snap Inc. (SNAP) fell less than 1% on Monday as the lockup period expired for its early investors. Around 400 million shares are now able to be sold as of Monday. A general employee blackout period will expire on August 14 wherein 782 million more shares could be sold.
Business activity in the Chicago region declined to its lowest level in three months. Chicago PMI dipped to 58.9 from 65.7, dropping at a faster pace than an expected retreat to 61. However, the measure was higher for its seventeenth month in a row. Sentiment declined for the first time after five months of increases.
Pending home sales rose for the first time in four months, according to the National Association of Realtors. The pending home sales index increased by 1.5% to 110.2, faster than an anticipated 0.9%. Gains were broad with only the Midwest seeing a small dip. The measure monitors sales in which a contract has been signed but deal not yet closed.
The U.S. flew two B-1B bombers across the Korean peninsula on Saturday, July 29, the latest in rising tensions in Asia. The move was in reaction to North Korea launching another missile on Friday. The launch, possibly of an intercontinental ballistic missile, was detected by Japan and South Korea and later confirmed by the U.S. Defense Department. President Donald Trump passed the North Korea issue off onto China in a string of tweets on Saturday.
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