US stock indexes edge higher in afternoon trading


U.S. stock indexes inched higher in late-afternoon trading Friday, holding course toward their fourth day of gains ahead of the long Independence Day holiday weekend. Consumer-focused companies rose more than the rest of the market. Financial and utilities stocks were among the laggards.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average gained 20 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,950 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added two points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,101. The Nasdaq composite rose 15 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,858.

REBOUND: Stocks have surged almost 5 percent over the last three days, wiping out almost all of the losses they suffered after British citizens voted to leave the European Union last week. The three major U.S. stock indexes are on track to end the week higher.

THE QUOTE: “When you have a market that’s sold off so dramatically only to reverse course with a fairly powerful rally, portfolio managers are going to take advantage of it, particularly at the end of a quarter,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.44 percent from 1.47 late Thursday.

CONSUMER STOCKS: Several consumer-focused stocks were trading higher. Netflix climbed $4.45, or 4.9 percent, to $95.93. Best Buy added 75 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $31.35.

BORN TO RIDE: Harley-Davidson led the gainers in the S&P 500 index, climbing $6.42, or 14.2 percent, to $51.72.

DRIVEN TO OWN: Several automakers reported growth in sales for June, giving a boost to shares in several auto-related companies. Ford Motor, which posted a 6 percent increase in sales for the month, rose 16 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $12.73. General Motors added 35 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $28.65, even though the company posted a 2 percent decline in sales due a large drop in rental sales. Auto supplier BorgWarner also got a lift, rising 61 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $30.13.

FORGETTABLE DAY: Micron Technology slumped 10 percent after the memory chip maker reported disappointing sales and gave an outlook that fell short of Wall Street’s expectations. The company also said it will eliminate jobs to reduce its spending. The stock shed $1.36 to $12.40.

BOARDROOM SHAKEUP: Williams Cos. slid 4.4 percent on news that nearly half of the company’s board members quit this week after they unsuccessfully tried to force out the energy company’s CEO. The stock lost 95 cents to $20.68.

ON THE ECONOMY: The Institute for Supply Management said that U.S. manufacturing expanded for the fourth straight month in June as the outlook for new orders and production improved. Separately, the Commerce Department said U.S. construction spending fell for a second month in May, reflecting weakness in all areas of building.

EUROPEAN MARKETS: The Bank of England said Thursday it would likely offer more monetary stimulus to the British economy to help it cope with the drop in business activity it is experiencing due to last week’s vote to leave the European Union. The British government said Friday it would abandon its goals of achieving a budget surplus by the end of the decade, which would free up more money for the economy. European stock indexes were all moving higher. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 1.1 percent, while Germany’s DAX gained 1 percent. France’s CAC 40 added 0.9 percent.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.7 percent, while South Korea’s KOSPI rose 0.9 percent and Taiwan’s TAIEX index added 0.8 percent. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 index gained 0.3 percent. Southeast Asian markets were mixed. The Hong Kong market was closed for holiday.

ENERGY: U.S. crude rose 66 cents, or 1.4 percent, to close at $48.99 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 53 cents to $50.35 a barrel in London. Natural gas rose 6 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $2.9870 per 1,000 cubic feet.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 102.53 yen from 103.27 yen late Thursday. The euro rose to $1.1128 from $1.1077, while the pound fell to $1.3262 from $1.3244.

METALS: In metals trading, gold gained $18.40, or 1.4 percent, to $1,339 an ounce, while silver rose 97 cents, or 5.2 percent, to $19.59 an ounce. Copper added 2 cents to $2.22 a pound.

comments powered by Disqus