Microsoft leads S&P, Nasdaq to record high

Wall Street fluctuated between gains and losses on Friday but ended with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq at record highs.

The Dow gained 89 points. The S&P 500 closed above 46-00 for the first time ever. The Nasdaq rose 50 points....

putting the finishing touches on making October the best month for the stock market all year.

Elevated inflation readings continued to show up in corporate results and economic data.

Consumer spending topped forecasts in September as the Federal Reserve's favored measure of consumer inflation remained quite high. The personal consumption expenditures index, excluding food and energy, was up 3.6 percent in the year through September. It's been stuck at that lofty level for four months straight.

Nancy Davis, chief investment officer, at Quadratic Capital Management, believes the prolonged inflation spike is leading the bond market to price in several rate hikes from the Fed.

"The rates market is having one of the most volatile weeks that I can remember in my career. We have over five full hikes being priced in before the end of two thousand twenty three. I personally think that's a little aggressive, especially with the taper likely coming later this year and going into midterms next year with the US election cycle."

Stock investors, however, remained focused on earnings for the time being.

Exxon Mobil posted its strongest quarterly results in four years thanks to oil and gas prices that have more than doubled in the past year.

Meanwhile, Chevron announced its highest profit in 8 years for the same reason. Shares of Chevon touched their highest since early 2020.

Not all the earnings news was as good.

Starbucks posted disappointing same-store sales growth led by weakness in China. Shares of Starbucks were down more than 6 percent.

But the stock of the day was Microsoft. It hit a record high, allowing it to knock down Apple as the world's most valuable company on the stock market. Microsoft: up more than 2 percent for the day.

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