Stocks stage a slight re­treat

The Washington Post Sunday - - MARKETS -

Wall Street strate­gists are fight­ing his­toric odds when urg­ing in­vestors not to chase the rally in the U.S. stock mar­ket.

They’re pre­dict­ing the Stan­dard & Poor’s 500-stock in­dex will see mo­men­tum fade in the sec­ond half af­ter shares climbed 8.2 per­cent for the best first-half per­for­mance since 2013. The av­er­age year-end pre­dic­tion, 2,439, rep­re­sents a 0.6 per­cent in­crease by De­cem­ber, the least bullish fore­cast at this time of year since 1999, data show.

Eq­ui­ties fell for the week just ended as the tech sell-off re­sumed, off­set­ting a rally in banks. The S&P 500 slipped 0.6 per­cent to 2,423.41 over the past five days and Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age re­treated 0.2 per­cent.

The Nas­daq 100 In­dex dropped 2.7 per­cent for the worst week of the year, re­vers­ing its gain for June to a loss. The de­cline ended a seven-month win­ning streak.

Among the 20 strate­gists sur­veyed by Bloomberg, stretched val­u­a­tions and de­cel­er­at­ing profit growth are of­ten cited as rea­sons for cau­tion. Yet stocks have shrugged off ev­ery­thing from mon­e­tary tight­en­ing to oil’s slump to drama at the White House, surg­ing past Wall Street fore­casts that this year were the least bullish in more than a decade.

The Trea­sury will sell $39 bil­lion of three­month bills and $33 bil­lion of six-month bills Mon­day. They yielded 1.04 per­cent and 1.14 per­cent in when-is­sued trad­ing. It will also sell $40 bil­lion of four-week bills Mon­day.

Ed­i­tor’s note: Our weekly com­pos­ite stock list­ing in­cludes com­pa­nies based in Wash­ing­ton or with a strong pres­ence here. The rest of the ta­ble shows firms as ranked by mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tion. And we’ve added year-to-date data be­cause read­ers told us it would be use­ful.

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