Tech firms drive up indexes to new highs
Gains in technology companies helped lift U.S. stock indexes higher Monday, nudging the market once again into record territory. The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed at an all-time high, as did the Dow Jones industrial average. The latest gain extended the Dow's winning streak to 10 days. Traders bid up shares in microchip makers and other technology companies. Grocery chains, drugstore operators and other consumer-focused companies also helped drive the market higher. Energy companies declined the most along with the price of crude oil. Banks and industrial companies also lagged. The S&P 500 index rose 4.08 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,480.91. The Dow gained 25.61 points, or 0.1 percent, to 22,118.42. The Nasdaq composite added 32.21 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,383.77. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 1.85 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,414.17. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 19 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $49.39 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 5 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $52.37 a barrel in London.
Rain helps dryer areas of Minnesota
Rains quenched dry areas of Minnesota's farm country last week but farmers in some southern and northern counties were left hoping for more. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its weekly crop progress and condition report for Minnesota that topsoil moisture supplies are rated 20 percent short and 5 percent very short. But 80 percent of the state's corn crop is in good to excellent condition, down just 1 point from last week. The state's soybeans are rated 74 percent good to excellent, up 1 point from last week. Nine percent of the spring wheat crop has been harvested, 11 days behind the five-year average, but the condition is rated 85 percent good to excellent. The state's barley and potato harvests are also underway.
Consumer credit rose at slower pace in June
American consumers increased their borrowing at a slower pace in June, as the category that includes auto and student loans posted the smallest gain in a year. The Federal Reserve said Monday that overall consumer credit expanded by $12.4 billion in June, down from May's $18.3 billion increase and less than economists had been expecting. The credit report is closely watched for clues about the direction of consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity. Nonrevolving credit, which includes auto and student loans, rose $8.3 billion, down from an $11.4 billion jump in May and the smallest amount since a $7 billion increase in June 2016. The category that includes credit cards climbed $4.1 billion, down from May's $6.9 billion gain. The June increase brought consumer credit to a fresh record of $3.86 trillion.
Tesla is raising cash to help push Model 3
Tesla is raising $1.5 billion as it ramps up production of the Model 3 sedan, its first mass market electric car. The company said Monday that it planned to offer senior notes due in 2025 and would use the offering's proceeds to further strengthen its balance sheet during rapid scaling of the Model 3. Tesla delivered the first 30 Model 3s to employees at the end of July. At the time, CEO Elon Musk worried some investors when he warned that Tesla was about to embark on "at least six months of manufacturing hell" as it attempts to get Model 3 production to 5,000 cars per week by December. But last week, Musk clarified his comments, and said Tesla should be able to overcome any supplier issues and other potential obstacles.