Rally fades in last min­utes as stocks fin­ish Q2 higher

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By 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 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.

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