Broken Clouds 31° Good Morning
Broken Clouds 31° Good Morning

On eve of long July 4 weekend, stocks hang on to gains

Trader Greg Mulligan works on the floor of

Trader Greg Mulligan works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, June 29, 2016. Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

U.S. stock indexes held onto their rally gains Friday, as investors headed for 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.

ON WALL STREET. At the markets’ close, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 19. 4 points, about 0.1 percent, at 17,949.4. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 4.1 points, about 0.2 percent, to nearly 2,103. The Nasdaq composite gained nearly 20 points, about 0.4 percent, to 4,862.6.

OIL PRICES. As the markets closed, the price of U.S. benchmark crude oil was up 84 cents at $49.17 a barrel. In London, the international standard Brent crude was up 87 cents at $50.58 a barrel.

THE RALLY SO FAR. 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.

ANALYST’S OPINION. “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 analyst 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.

PLEASING RIDER. Harley-Davidson led the gainers in the S&P 500 index, climbing $6.42, or 14.2 percent, to $51.72.

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.

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