Stock indexes ended the day much as they started it on Friday as gains in technology and health care companies were checked by weakness in banks and other sectors. The Dow rose 15 points to a record 35,515, the S&P 500 rose 7 points to a record 4,468, and the Nasdaq ticked up 6 points to 14,822. Investors had little reaction to economic data that showed a drop in consumer confidence last month due to the spreading delta variant of the coronavirus, per the AP. Technology companies made some of the broadest gains. Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices rose 3.7%. Health care companies also gained ground: Pfizer rose 2.4% and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals gained 2.8%.
The S&P 500 was roughly split between gainers and losers. Concerns about the resurgent virus are prompting investors to shift money away from companies that could take a hit from people pulling back on spending for travel and other in-person services, said Jay Hatfield, CEO of Infrastructure Capital Advisors. Investors got an unexpectedly bad reading on the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, which fell to 70.2 from its previous level of 81.2 in July. That was the largest drop in sentiment since April 2020, when the pandemic took its initial grip on the country. The drop in the survey's reading was almost entirely due to the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus, which has caused hospitals to fill up with unvaccinated patients across the US.
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