- A strong rally in Apple (NASDAQ: APPL) lifted the Dow on Thursday.
- Bloomberg’s consumer sentiment index demonstrates the highest level of enthusiasm since the dot.com bubble.
- Boeing’s new communications director has his work cut out to get the Dow Jones giant back on track.
The Dow Jones rallied on Thursday as an impressive performance from Apple (NASDAQ: APPL) helped support the index despite a decline in the Dow’s most heavily weighted stock, Boeing (NYSE: BA). After bumper retail sales, no Christmas present from North Korea, and today’s solid jobs number, the US stock market looks set to enjoy yet another Santa Claus rally.
Dow Jones Lags as Nasdaq Hits 9000
There was a historic milestone among the major US stock market indices as the Nasdaq breached 9000 for the first time. Up 0.8% the tech index led the S&P 500,, which gained 0.5%, while the Dow Jones was only able to post a 0.4% gain.
A weak day for the US dollar lifted commodities, helping the price of gold enjoy another rally, (+0.6%) as the precious metal rises further through the $1500 handle. Crude oil also continues to increase, posting a 0.9% gain. The price of bitcoin pushed 3% higher to $7300 as investors speculate just how much of the impending halving is priced into the haven asset.
Donald Trump’s lack of concern about a “Christmas gift” from North Korea proved to be justified, as Pyongyang did nothing of note to spook politicians or investors alike.
Instead, the focus for Dow bulls was on an impressive performance from the vital US consumer this holiday period.
Bloomberg Index Explains Dow Resilience
The resilience of the Dow Jones to several concerning macro-economic trends has been a surprise in 2019. As manufacturing has slid lower amid the trade war, so too has business investment and the outlook for global growth. In a report released by Bloomberg today, the financial media giant’s consumer sentiment report demonstrated several reasons why Wall Street remains optimistic about the Dow’s future, stating,
Bloomberg’s index of consumer comfort increased to 62.3 in the week ended Dec. 22 from 61.1, according to data released Thursday. A measure of confidence in the economy climbed to the highest since the end of July, while the personal finances gauge also was the strongest in nine weeks. Record stock prices, unemployment at a five-decade low, and steady wage gains continue to lift spirits, putting the 2019 average sentiment level on track for the best since the 1999-2000 dot-com boom.
Dow 30: Apple Shoulders Boeing Burden
A mild rally in the Dow 30 saw a strong surge in Apple (NASDAQ: APPL) tempered by more trouble for the crisis-ravaged Boeing (NYSE: BA).
It was not just the record US holiday sales that lifted Apple; there is also plenty of analyst enthusiasm around the outlook for the iPhone. Concerns that the tech giant was struggling to get consumers to upgrade are fading on the back of optimism about the implementation of 5G in 2020. In addition to this, strong demand for their Airpods product is expected to continue.
Boeing bulls hoping that that the recent CEO change would reverse BA stock’s decline will have been sorely disappointed to see it give up most of its gains. Although the new chief was the most widely reported change, arguably, the most critical reshuffle was the hiring of a new communications lead, Niel Golightly, who will now head up the PR push.
Having worked for many huge companies, Golightly will be no stranger to a crisis but is unlikely to have dealt with anything of the scale of the 737 MAX.
There is no question that the Dow Jones would enjoy a more vibrant performance from its most crucial stock in 2020. Still, it’s extremely difficult to see how public confidence can be restored in its now-infamous jet that experts frequently called “too big to fail.”