Coming off the second best week of the year, the stock market today was little changed in early trading.
Last week, U.S. stocks logged a third straight week of gains. The Dow finished up 2.2%, to 15,464.30, an all-time high. The S&P, up 3% for the week to 1,680.19, also ended in record territory.
Meanwhile, the tech heavy Nasdaq enjoyed its seventh consecutive week of gains, its longest winning stretch since July 2011. Up 3.5% last week, the benchmark sits at its highest level in some 13 years.
However, holding back the stock market today was the Commerce Department’s weak retail sales report showing a growth of just 0.4% in June, compared with the expected 0.8%. Excluding a surge in auto sales, retail sales were actually flat last month.
Moreover, fresh data revealed China’s economy grew at a slower 7.5% pace in the second quarter compared to a year ago. The Asian nation’s “goldilocks” report—not too hot, not too cold—matched the government’s target and consensus estimates.
Thursday brings reports from Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). Also, Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) holds a special shareholder meeting about the ongoing take-over/take-private saga.
We wrap up the week with earnings from General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) on Friday.
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A number of economic reports, including readings on the CPI, housing market, Beige Book and the Fed’s balance sheet could also move markets in the days ahead. And central bankers continue to make the rounds with a speech from member Esther George on Tuesday.
Wednesday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke delivers his semi-annual testimony to Congress on monetary policy. Investors will be closely listening for any clues about the central bank’s intentions on economic stimulus.
Movers in the Stock Market Today
If you’re investing in any of the following companies, don’t miss this news pushing their share prices today: