Day of small gains closes quarter
Wall Street closed out the final day of the second quarter with slight gains after a broad rally faded in the last few minutes of trading Friday.
The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index eked out gains, while the Nasdaq composite closed essentially flat.
The S&P 500 index rose 3.71 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,423.41. The Dow gained 62.60 points, or 0.3 percent, to 21,349.63. The Nasdaq lost 3.93 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,140.42. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks gave up 0.84 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,415.36.
Industrial stocks and consumer-focused companies led the gainers. Energy stocks also rose as crude oil prices closed higher for the seventh straight day. Utilities, technology and health care companies were among the biggest decliners.
Trading was mostly subdued ahead of Tuesday’s Independence Day holiday, though many investors seized on the final trading day of the quarter and the previous day’s market slide to buy more shares or close out positions and book profits.
“Overall we’re ending this quarter with a strong market. Even though technology has taken a hit, other sectors have moved up,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial.
Bond prices fell. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.30 percent from 2.27 percent late Thursday.
The major stock indexes got off to a shaky start early Friday, but soon veered higher and held course for much
of the day. A last-minute flurry of selling nudged the Nasdaq and Russell 2000 slightly into the red.
The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended the week in negative territory. It was also the worst week of the year for the Nasdaq and the third loss in the past four weeks for the tech-heavy index.
The market’s snapshot at the halfway mark for 2017 is more encouraging, however.
The S&P 500 index, the broadest measure of the stock market, is up 8.2 percent this year, while the Dow is up 8 percent. The Nasdaq has racked up a gain of 14.1 percent. The Russell 2000 is up 4.3 percent.
Strong corporate earnings and revenue have underpinned
the market’s gains this year. Expectations among investors that President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress would cut taxes, increase federal spending on infrastructure and enact other business-friendly policies have also helped drive stocks higher.
Investors appeared to temper those expectations in recent weeks as the Trump administration hit legislative snags in its bid to pass a health insurance overhaul.
On Thursday, S&P Global Ratings noted that sentiment on Wall Street, which had been strong after Trump’s election, has begun to soften.
“Now, we no longer believe the federal government
will be able to push through even a small infrastructurespending package, and we expect only moderate tax cuts to be passed early next year as midterm elections approach,” wrote Beth Ann Bovino, S&P Global’s U.S. chief economist.
Crude oil prices closed higher for the seventh straight day. Benchmark U.S. crude gained $1.11, or 2.5 percent, to settle at $46.04 a barrel in New York. Brent, the international standard, rose $1.14, or 2.4 percent, to close at $48.77 a barrel in London.
Among metals, gold fell $3.50 to settle at $1,242.30 per ounce. Silver slipped 3 cents to $16.63 per ounce. Copper gained 2 cents to $2.71 per pound.