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MarketWatch MarketPulseAug 14, 2020
S&P 500 ends week and day higher but fails to book record close as market succumbs to lack of fresh catalyst
U.S. stocks closed lower Friday and booked weekly gains, but trading to end in mid August suggests that it may be tough sledding ahead for investors hoping to find further gains, with the S&P 500 within a striking distance of its record close, as stimulus talks are all but dead and data point to a slow and fitful economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Economic reports, including unemployment claims and retail spending, continue to suggest the economy is recovering, but at an unsteady pace as the virus fails to submit efforts to quash it throughout the country. A report on retail sales in July rose 1.2%, and increased by 1.9% once stripping out for auto and gas. Meanwhile, second-quarter productivity jumped 7.3%, while second-quarter unit labor costs surged by 12.2%. Separately, a reading on industrial production rose 3% in July for the third straight monthly gain after sharp declines in March and April, the Federal Reserve reported Friday. Investors continued to wait for developments on a coronavirus relief package from Congress but lawmakers have broken for recess until Labor Day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 34 points, or 0.1%, at 27,931 and booked a weekly gain of 1.8%, while the S&P 500 index finished the day nearly unchanged at 3,372 but notched a weekly gain of 0.6%, ending Friday's trade about 14 points from a record close. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index closed 0.2% lower at 11,019 and logged a weekly gain of less than 0.1%. Tech stocks have been at the vanguard of the current recovery for stocks but have seen gains peter out in recent trade. Meanwhile, on U.S.-China trade talks, both sides have canceled plans for a virtual weekend meeting to assess their so-called phase one trade deal as it hits its six-month mark.

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MarketWatch MarketPulseAug 14, 2020
Buffett's Berkshire buys gold miner Barrick, slashes Wells Fargo and JPMorgan, dumps Goldman stake amid coronavirus
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. unloaded more than a quarter of its stake in Wells Fargo & Co. and about 61% of its position in JPMorgan Chase , while acquiring a new position in Barrick Gold Corp. , according to 13F filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the period ended Jun 30, that were released Friday afternoon. Berkshire's moves appeared to reflect a broad lightening of the conglomerates exposure to large-capitalization banks during the worst public health crisis in generations. Berkshire sold 85.6 million shares of Wells Fargo, representing about 26% of its stake and putting its ownership to about 3% from 5.3%. The insurance conglomerate also shed 35.5 million shares of JPMorgan, 61% of its position, which now represents 1% of Berkshire's overall portfolio from 3% in the prior period. Meanwhile, the investment firm acquired nearly 21 million shares of Barrick Gold worth $563 million, representing 0.3% of Berkshire's holding. Berkshire also reduced its holding in PNC Financial Services , selling 3.85 million shares to cut its position to 0.3% from 0.5%. The insurance conglomerate boosted its stake in grocery chain Kroger Co. by 15%, purchasing 3 million shares. The report also showed that Buffett's firm dumped its entire stakes in Goldman Sachs , Occidental Petroleum Corp. , as well as consummating an exodus of airline companies, including American Airlines Group Inc. , Delta Air Lines United Airlines and Southwest Airlines Co. . Berkshire didn't change its holdings in Apple Inc. , where the firm owns at 245.156 million shares. Large investors must disclose long stock positions held at the end of a quarter 45 days later in a 13F filing with the SEC, which means such filings are merely a snapshot of an investor holdings at a given point. Berkshire Class A and B shares are down by about 0.6% and 0.5% at Friday's close. Meanwhile, shares of Wells Fargo were down 0.8% in after-hours trade on Friday, JPMorgan shares edged 0.1%

Yahoo BusinessAug 13, 2020
Stock market news live updates: Stock futures trade sideways as S&P 500 hovers just below record
Shares of Apple (AAPL) edged lower late trading after rising to a record high earlier Thursday.

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