Stocks hit records as election season kicks into high gear
Stocks hit records as election season kicks into high gear

By Jonathan Garber FOXBusiness

Apple, Tesla shares will split following the closing bell.

Stocks rallied to record highs Friday morning as the race for the White House officially got under way after President Trump accepted the presidential nomination of the Republican Party.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 62 points, or 0.22%, in the opening minutes of trading and topped its 2019 closing value of 28,538.44.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were higher by 0.23% and 0.54%, respectively, as both looked to extend their longest streak of record closes in 2020. The S&P has closed at an all-time high in four consecutive sessions while the Nasdaq has settled at a new peak for five straight trading days.

Trump, in his acceptance speech for the Republican nominee, drew a sharp contrast between his policies and those of former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday evening, saying he would “again build the greatest economy in history” and that Biden was the “destroyer of America’s jobs.”

Trump also said that he was the president of law and order while arguing “no one will be safe in Biden’s America.”

Election Day is 67 days away.

Looking at stocks, Abbott Laboratories reached a $750 million deal with the White House to supply 150 million rapid COVID-19 tests. The $5 test, which received Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization on Wednesday, will begin shipping in September.

Apple Inc. and Tesla Inc. are in focus as both companies will split their stocks at the close of trading on Friday. Apple investors will receive an additional three shares for each share owned while Tesla investors will receive four.

Coca-Cola Co. will offer voluntary separation packages to 4,000 employees as it restructures its business into nine operating units from 17. The company says the reorganization will result in $350 million to $550 million in severance expenses.

Looking at earnings, Hewlett-Packard Co. reported strong quarterly results as the work-from-home environment fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic produced a 32% increase in notebook computer sales.

Meanwhile, rival Dell Technologies Inc. also posted solid results as amid double digit growth in consumer devices, including notebooks, commercial notebooks and premium consumer PCs, saw

Big Lots Inc. reported better-than-expected top and bottom line results as discount shoppers thronged the company’s stores and website in the wake of COVID-19. Adjusted earnings of $2.75 per share were a record for the April through June period.

Looking at commodities, gold surged $33 to $1965.60 and West Texas Intermediate crude oil edged up 8 cents to $43.12 per barrel.

U.S. Treasurys were little changed with the yield on the 10-year note holding near 0.74%.

European markets were little changed with Germany’s DAX down 0.05%, Britain’s FTSE up 0.03% and France’s CAC higher by 0.13%.

In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite added 1.61% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.56% while Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.41% after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced he was stepping down due to health concerns.

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