Dow Higher Amid Evergrande Default Saga, Supply Chain Chaos

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Stocks were mixed Friday as investors debate the impact of a China Evergrande default and more companies caution on supply chain disruptions to holiday sales and earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 35 points, or 0.10%, to 34,800, while the S&P 500 advanced 0.12% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq, fell 0.11%.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices were in focus Friday after the People’s Bank of China issued a blanket ban on digital coins and currencies, declaring them “illegal financial activities that are strictly prohibited” in the government’s latest financial sector crackdown.

China Evergrande, the indebted property developer at the heart of systemic risk concerns in Asia, missed an $83.5 million dollar-bond debt payment Thursday and entered a 30-day grace period that it must use to meet obligations for foreign creditors.

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“The main problem for Evergrande currently is that it does not have enough money to complete the construction of existing residential property projects,” said ING economist Iris Pang. “That means it cannot sell these properties and so cannot get cash to repay its debts.”

Alibaba Group’s  (BABA) – Get Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Sponsored ADR Report U.S.-listed shares slumped to a two-and-a-half year low Friday as the region’s most valuable tech company again found itself in the crosshairs of China’s ongoing corporate crackdown

Nike  (NKE) – Get NIKE, Inc. (NKE) Report posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings, but fell modestly short of analysts’ estimates for sales, suggesting supply-chain disruptions could impact revenue forecasts heading into the holiday season.

Costco  (COST) – Get Costco Wholesale Corporation Report was rising, but the company noted supply chain impacts to its near-term outlook, adding that it will put limits on the purchases of key household items, including toilet paper and cleaning supplies, owing to an “uptick in Delta-related demand.”

Meredith  (MDP) – Get Meredith Corporation Report, owner of such titles as People magazine, Travel + Leisure, and Better Homes and Gardens, surged following a report that it was advanced talks to be acquired by Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp.  (IAC) – Get IAC/InterActiveCorp. Report in deal valued at more than $2.5 billion.