The S&P 500 ticked higher to close at another all-time high Friday, powered by strength for technology stocks and a couple reports on the US economy that were better than expected. The benchmark index rose 11.65 points, to 3,397.16, even though the majority of stocks in the index weakened. Despite its record-setting week, the market’s momentum has slowed recently after roaring back from its nearly 34 percent plunge from late February into March.
Investors are still waiting for more clarity on several fronts. The economy has shown some signs of stalling recently, with Friday’s reports from Europe the latest reminder that a steady rise in coronavirus cases may be undermining growth. They follow a US report from Thursday that showed that the number of workers applying for unemployment benefits picked up last week. But the picture remains mixed. A separate report from IHS Markit on Friday said preliminary data suggests output from the US private sector is at an 18-month high. Sales of previously occupied homes were also stronger in July than economists expected.