United States stocks climb to another milestone this year


NY stock markets ended the week on an upbeat note, with new records for the Dow and S&P as investors brushed off weak U.S. economic data and another North Korea missile launch.

Industrial production in the US fell 0.9 percent in August, the biggest drop in eight years, as Harvey knocked numerous oil refining, plastics and chemicals factories out of business for a time.

The benchmark S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) also rose to new records, climbing 0.2% to 2,500.23.

United Technologies and Boeing were among the biggest contributors to the Dow industrials' climb, adding roughly 36 points to the index on Thursday.

Brent oil prices, the global benchmark, held near five-month highs and were on track for the biggest weekly gain since late July.

USA industrial output fell 0.9% in August, its first drop in seven months. The August decline in sales and downward revisions to the prior months make it more likely that consumption, the biggest part of the economy, will be hard-pressed to match the 3.3 percent growth pace of the prior quarter.

Energy firms were higher, but technology, health care and real estate companies weighed on the markets. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 64.86 points, or 0.3 percent, to 22,268.34, its fourth record close in a row. The Nasdaq composite slumped 0.5 percent to 6,429.08. Amazon also lost 0.5 per cent, but Apple added one per cent after its new product launch this week.

TAKING ILL: Prescription drug distributor AmerisourceBergen declined $3.73, or 4.4 percent, to $80.59 and competitor McKesson fell $5.81, or 3.7 percent, to $151.87. Losses were capped when weaker-than-expected US retail sales renewed doubts the Federal Reserve will raise rates in December.

On the data front, US retail sales declined unexpectedly in August and were revised lower for July, raising question marks about the consumer-led recovery.

Following the mixed performance seen in the previous session, stocks moved modestly higher over the course of the trading day on Friday.

Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.9 percent while the French CAC 40 rose 0.1 percent and Germany's DAX fell 0.2 percent. South Korea's Kospi recouped initial losses to end 0.4 percent higher.

The S&P 500 tech index has been the best performing sector this year, rising more than 25 percent, far outpacing the broader S&P 500's 11.5-percent growth. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.20 percent from 2.19 percent.