Day of small gains closes quar­ter

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM - ALEX VEIGA

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.

Ar­kan­sas Demo­crat-Gazette

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