Boeing helps Dow strike record high

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U.S. stocks were little changed on Friday (Sept 15), but the Dow eked out another record high, as investors shrugged off North Korea's latest missile test and domestic economic data that did little to move the needle on the timing of an interest rate hike.

While the Dow rose 45.30 points or 0.2 percent to 22,203.48, the Nasdaq slid 31.10 points or 0.5 percent to 6,429.08 and the S&P 500 edged down 2.75 points or 0.1 percent to 2,495.62.

The benchmark S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) also rose to new records, climbing 0.2% to 2,500.23. "Control retail sales (excludes sales at food services and drinking places, gasoline stations, building materials and auto stores) which factor directly into GDP fell 0.2% m/m in August, after a strong 0.6% gain in the prior month and are running just 1.3% (annualized) above the Q2 pace", the German bank added. And every market sector showed increases, despite reports showing Hurricanes Harvey and Irma had a big impact on U.S. retail sales and industrial activity in August that is likely to cut economic growth in the third quarter. The iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (SOXX) rose 1.7% in its fifth straight daily advance, putting the fund on track for its biggest weekly gain since July. The biggest gains came Monday, after Hurricane Irma wreaked less damage than forecast in Florida following Harvey's devastating sweep through Texas.

U.S. Treasury yields have also surged this week. This is a boost from SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF's previous monthly dividend of $0.24. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks dipped 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,425. The biggest contributions to the gains were made by stocks in Boeing, 3M and Apple. Many companies on the British FTSE 100 are multinationals whose overseas earnings are diminished in value when the pound appreciates against other currencies.

"[.] Profitability of United States stocks is also near highs". Friday marked the first time for the index to soar above 2,500. The pound jumped to $1.3354 from $1.3197. Brent crude, the standard for worldwide oil prices, gained 15 cents to $55.62 a barrel in London. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, inched up by less than a basis point to 2.202%.

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Microsoft fell 36 cents to $74.41 and technology information and analysis company Gartner shed $1.91, or 1.6 percent, to $120.33. The bank is not expected to raise interest rates this month, but Wall Street is wondering if it will do so in December.

The US$226mln-valued company'sstock rose 3.5% on the news.

The dollar advanced to 110.88 yen from 110.54 yen.

South Korea's Kospi index closed 0.4% higher, bouncing back from an earlier drop, as Asian markets overall finished mixed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-stocks-mostly-retreat-after-north-koreas-latest-missile-test-2017-09-14).

The Fed said Hurricane Harvey is estimated to have reduced the rate of change in total output by roughly three-quarters of a percentage point. The euro weakened to $1.1906 from $1.1919.

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