Rally fades in last minutes as stocks finish Q2 higher
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 tiny gains, while the Nasdaq composite closed essentially flat.
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 the Independence Day holiday next week, 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.
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 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,415.36.
A last-minute flurry of selling nudged the Nasdaq and Russell 2000 slightly into the red.
The market’s snapshot at the halfway mark for 2017 is more encouraging. 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.
Hain Celestial climbed 8.6 percent after activist investor Engaged Capital disclosed a 9.9 percent stake in the organic food maker. Hain shares added $3.06 to $38.82.
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.