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Stocks end second quarter on the rise

FILE: A Wall Street sign in front of

FILE: A Wall Street sign in front of the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan on April 22, 2010. Credit: AP / Mark Lennihan

Stocks indexes have resumed an upward trajectory after getting off to the worst start in five years in the first quarter. Investors sold stocks in January as they worried about the impact of an unusually harsh winter on the economy. The dangers of the intensifying conflict between Russia and the Ukraine also weighed on the markets.

By contrast, there were fewer worries in the second quarter.

As the weather improved, there was more encouraging news about hiring and manufacturing. Stocks were also propelled higher by a turnaround in some of the riskier parts of the market. Internet, biotechnology and small-company stocks all rebounded after dragging the market lower in March.

Company earnings, already at record levels, continued to grind higher. Even an escalating conflict in Iraq that pushed up oil prices in June wasn't enough to stop stocks from rising.

"I'm not seeing anything that's going to derail the overall upward climb of the market," said Karyn Cavanaugh, senior market strategist with Voya Investment Management. "The economic backdrop is getting better, so companies will make even more money."

Results were mixed Monday at the close on Wall Street. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.73 points, less than 0.1 percent, to 1,960.2, just two points from its record close of 1,962.9 set June 20. The index rose 4.7 percent in the quarter and closed with records on 16 occasions during in the period.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25.24 points Monday, or nearly 0.2 percent, to 16,826.6 and posted a gain of 2.4 percent in the quarter. The Nasdaq composite rose 10.3 points, or about 0.2 percent, to 4,408.2, rising 5 percent in the quarter.

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