Aug. 17 - Summary of business headlines: S&P 500 near four-year high; Apple shares set record price; Facebook stock slump continues; Americans more confident near-term; $18 billion of counterfeit shoes seized in California. Carmen Roberts reports.
The S&P 500 nears a four-year-high and posts its sixth straight week of gains; a solid move across the much watched 1,400 level boosted investor sentiment across board. For the week the Dow gained 0.5%; the Nasdaq up 1.8% Apple led the Nasdaq higher. Shares reached a record high after Jefferies raised the price target to $900 from $800 and gave it a 'buy' rating. Positive economic news also helped stocks. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey shows consumer sentiment rose in August to the highest since May, as retail sales rose and mortgage rates stayed low. While the near term looks better, Chief Economist of Fact & Opinion Economics, Robert Brusca, says people are very concerned about five years and beyond. SOUNDBITE: ROBERT BRUSCA, CHIEF ECONOMIST, FACT & OPINION ECONOMICS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The worry in this report looking ahead is really the worry about the distant future; the worry about getting things in shape for the future, taking charge of our budget deficit problems; those things that we know our political parties are at loggerheads about." Separately, the Conference Board said its leading economic indicators index rose in July -- suggesting slow growth through the end of the year. Facebook continued its slide to an intraday record low. Shares are down nearly 50% from the initial public offering price in May. Investors are disillusioned over that company's slowing revenue growth. And some $18 billion worth of counterfeit designer shoes won't get to walk U.S. streets. Customs agents at California ports seized more than 20,000 pairs of women's shoes made to look like those famous red-soled Christian Louboutin designs. The real French versions would sell for more than $1,000 a pair. Stocks in Europe rose to a 13-month high, extending their longest weekly winning streak in seven years. Carmen Roberts, Reuters.