NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is starting August with more gains, as stocks are climbing following encouraging reports from around the world on the economy.
The S&P 500 tacked 0.7% more onto its four-month winning streak, with Big Tech once again leading the way. Reports showed that European manufacturing returned to growth in July, which helped to lift markets globally.
The gains built after a follow-up report showed U.S. manufacturing growth accelerated last month at a faster pace than economists expected.
Microsoft and Apple alone accounted for more than half the S&P 500′s gain.
Manufacturing shows further gains
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing showed further improvement in July with a key gauge of activity rising further into expansion territory.
The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, said Monday that its manufacturing index rose to 54.2 last month, up from a June reading of 52.6. Any reading above 50 signals that U.S. manufacturing is expanding.
The June increase had put the index back in expansion territory after it had fallen below 50, indicating a recession in manufacturing, back in March as the coronavirus pandemic shut down activity.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending fell again in June, the fourth straight decline as the coronavirus outbreak continues to wreak havoc on the economy.
The Commerce Department said Monday that spending on U.S. construction projects fell 0.7% in June as both home building and nonresidential activity declined.
The construction industry has been hammered by pandemic-forced shutdowns and as cases rise again in parts of the country, there are concerns about further declines in coming months.
Analysts had expected a turnaround in spending in June as many parts of the country reopened, but it did not happen. May’s number, however, was revised upward.
TRUMP-TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY
Trump takes disciplinary action against TVA leadership
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has fired the chair of the Tennessee Valley Authority, claiming it has betrayed American workers.
Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday that he was formally removing the authority’s chair of the board and another member of the board and threatened to remove other board members if they keep hiring foreign labor.
The TVA is a federally owned corporation created in 1933 to provide flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing and economic development to the Tennessee Valley, a region that was hard hit by the Great Depression. The region covers most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.
Ferrari lowers guidance after second-quarter profits nearly wiped out
MILAN (AP) — Italian sportscar maker Ferrari has lowered its full year earnings guidance after reporting second-quarter profits were nearly wiped out by temporary halts in production and delivery due to the coronavirus.
The automaker reported on Monday just $10.5 million in net profit for the April-June period, which coincided with Italy’s strict lockdown. That is a 95% drop from the same quarter of 2019.
Shipments were down by half, to 1,389 cars from 2,671 a year earlier. Ferrari resumed full production on May 8.
Revenues were down 42%.
Clorox becomes ‘it’ brand in world sheltered in place
UNDATED (AP) — Sales at Clorox jumped 22% in its most recent quarter with millions of people growing more vigilant about cleaning routines in the pandemic.
The company also announced Monday that Linda Rendle will become its CEO in September.
There was a 33% jump in sales withing the company division that sells cleaning products. People have loaded pantries with disinfectant wipes and sprays, pushing overall sales up to $1.98 billion for the three months ended June 30. That’s up from $1.62 billion a year earlier.
GOT MILK? RETURNS
As U.S. milk sales rise amid pandemic, ‘Got Milk?’ ads make a comeback
UNDATED (AP) — The dairy industry has a familiar question for you: “Got milk?”
Six years after the popular tagline was retired, “Got milk?” ads are back. The dairy industry is reviving the campaign hoping to prolong the U.S. sales boost milk has gotten during the pandemic.
From January through mid-July, U.S. milk retail sales were up 8.3% to $6.4 billion, according to Nielsen. During the same period last year, milk sales were down 2.3%.
The dairy industry says kids are eating lunches at home and adults have more time for breakfast and cooking with milk.
Google, ADT partnering on home security products
UNDATED (AP) — Google is pairing its Nest smart home technology with ADT and buying a stake in the home security company. ADT plans to begin offering Google devices to its customers starting this year.
Google will invest $450 million in ADT in exchange for newly created Class B shares that come with no votes in company elections, appointments or removal of directors. It’s stake amounts to about 6.6% of the company.