Wall Street puts fin­ish­ing touch on best week

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

Wall Street rose on Fri­day and capped off its strong­est week since March af­ter US Fed­eral Re­serve Chair Janet Yellen said an in­ter­est- rate hike would likely be ap­pro­pri­ate "in the com­ing months."

Yellen's is the most im­por­tant voice in a cho­rus of pol­i­cy­mak­ers re­cently sug­gest­ing that the U.S. econ­omy has im­proved enough to war­rant tighter bor­row­ing costs, with a grow­ing num­ber of in­vestors now ex­pect­ing a hike in June or July. While higher in­ter­est rates choke liq­uid­ity in stock mar­kets, many in­vestors see a po­ten­tial rate hike as a vote of con­fi­dence that the strug­gling U.S. econ­omy is find­ing its legs. "As we look at our place in the global econ­omy, things just seem to be im­prov­ing to a point where it cer­tainly looks likely that June or July will be the next launch­ing point," said Paul Spring­meyer, port­fo­lio man­ager at the Pri­vate Client Re­serve of U.S. Bank. "With the in­creased strength, we should get up off of those his­tor­i­cally low lev­els where we are." Af­ter Yellen's speech, traders raised their ex­pec­ta­tions of a June rate hike to 34 per­cent from 30 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to CME Group. The Fed next meets on June 1415. Data on Fri­day showed U.S. eco­nomic growth slowed in the first quar­ter, al­though not as sharply as ini­tially thought.

All of the 10 ma­jor S&P sec­tors rose, with the tele­com .SPLRCL and fi­nan­cial . SPSY in­dexes lead­ing the gain­ers. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age .DJI climbed 0.25 per­cent to end at 17,873.22 points and the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.43 per­cent to 2,099.06. The Nas­daq Com­pos­ite .IXIC added 0.65 per­cent to 4,933.51. For the week, the S&P 500 rose 2.3 per­cent and the Dow added 2.1 per­cent, the best weekly per­for­mance for both since March. The Nas­daq gained 3.4 per­cent for the week, its best weekly re­sult. Fri­day's vol­ume was muted as in­vestors checked out ahead of a long week­end, with U.S. stock mar­kets closed on Mon­day for the Me­mo­rial Day hol­i­day. Just 5.6 bil­lion shares changed hands on U.S. ex­changes, well be­low the 7.1 bil­lion daily av­er­age for the past 20 trad­ing days, ac­cord­ing to data. Cy­ber se­cu­rity firm Palo Alto dropped 12.36 per­cent af­ter a wider-than-ex­pected quar­terly loss. GameS­top fell 3.93 per­cent af­ter the videogame re­tailer fore­cast low­erthan-ex­pected rev­enue and profit for the cur­rent quar­ter. Ad­vanc­ing is­sues out­num­bered de­clin­ers on the NYSE by 2,034 to 974. On the Nas­daq, 1,905 is­sues rose and 896 fell. The S&P 500 in­dex showed 22 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nas­daq recorded 73 new highs and 19 new lows.

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