U.S. stocks edged higher on better-than-forecast earnings while Treasury yields fell after data signaled tepid inflation in the first quarter.
The S&P 500 Index advanced as positive surprises from Amazon and Ford overshadowed disappointments for Intel and Exxon Mobil. Ten-year government bond yields dipped below 2.5 percent following a report showing underlying weakness in the economy even amid faster-than-expected growth in the first quarter. The dollar pared its second consecutive weekly increase. Oil tumbled.
At the end of a busy week for earnings, investors are taking stock of both good and bad corporate surprises and parsing the details of the first-quarter gross domestic product report. U.S. GDP expanded at a 3.2 percent annualized rate in the January-March period, according to Commerce Department data Friday that topped all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey. But underlying demand was softer than the headline number indicated, with weak consumer spending and a gauge of inflation coming in below policy makers’ target.
“We shouldn’t forget where we are in the business cycle,” said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy for E*Trade Financial Corp. “Many sectors are still tempering expectations for the future.”
The Stoxx Europe 600 edged higher as losses for energy producers were offset by gains in media companies. Shares were marginally lower in Asia as an unexpected tumble in Japanese industrial production underscored worries over the global expansion, while the yuan edged up after President Xi Jinping said China won’t engage in currency depreciation.
Elsewhere, developing-nation currencies and shares were slightly higher.