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Another Dow record — What you need to know in markets on Friday

Myles Udland
Markets Reporter

The Dow Jones Industrial Average will look to make a clean sweep of the week on Friday after notching its sixth-straight record close on Thursday.

The economic calendar will be a bit light, with only the latest index of leading economic indicators set for release.

On the earnings front, headline reports are expected from Deere (DE), Moody’s (MCO), VF Corp. (VFC), and J. M. Smucker (SJM).

The major US averages closed Thursday little-changed after Wednesday marked the fifth day in a row each index hit a new record. This was the longest streak since 1992, according to data from FactSet, and may have prompted a morning tweet from President Donald Trump touting the new records in stocks.

“Stock market hits new high with longest winning streak in decades,” Trump tweeted. “Great level of confidence and optimism — even before tax plan rollout!”

In a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Trump again highlighted the stock market’s recent performance, saying, “The stock market has hit record numbers. There has been a tremendous surge of optimism in the business world.” Trump added that, “Plants and factories are already starting to move back into the United States and big league.”

In a note out to clients this week, Michael Hartnett and the investment strategy team at Bank of America Merrill Lynch argued that in the Trump era, the dominant trade in markets moves from a deflationary one to an inflationary one.

To use BAML’s construction, we’re now going to see “Joe Six-Pack” beat “Davos Man.”

Source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

And certainly creating and keeping jobs in the US is the kind of thing that does favor Joe Six-Pack over Davos Man. This favors, on balance, the working class over the moneyed elites.

Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman wrote on Thursday that Trump deserves credit for his focus on keeping jobs in the US.

Here’s Newman:

Trump praised five companies by name — Ford (F), General Motors (GM), Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), Intel (INTC) and Walmart (WMT) — for committing to hire more Americans. “If I didn’t get elected, believe, me, they would have left and these things I’m announcing never would have come here.”

There’s some debate about that. The automakers, to some extent, repackaged prior news to make it seem like they were making new investments in US plants that probably would have happened anyway. Intel and Walmart may or may not have ramped up US hiring without Trump.

But let’s give Trump credit for this: He has made jobs the focal point of his economic plan and expressed an urgent need to create more of them. Just about all politicians do this, and Trump may turn out to be more talk than action. Still, it is certainly something new to see a president calling out companies by name and asking their CEOs what they plan to do to create more jobs.

But don’t forget that Trump is still out touting the level of the stock market, and has done so in the past.

And as we noted when the Dow cracked 20,000, most adults in the US don’t even participate in the stock market. In fact, just 52% of US adults have any exposure to the stock market.

At least looking at stocks, then, Davos Man seems to be doing just fine.

Myles Udland is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @MylesUdland

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