June 19, 2018

U.S. stocks climb to another milestone this year

17 September 2017, 06:56 | Joann Bryant

USA stocks closed higher on Friday, with technology, financials, and telecommunication shares leading the way higher.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 55.74 points, or 0.25 percent, to 22,259.22.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 4.61 points, or 0.2 percent, to a record 2,500.23. US retail sales unexpectedly fell in August (, dropping 0.2% in their second decline of the past three months.

The consumer price index's (CPI) 0.4-percent gain last month was its biggest in seven months and is the last major economic data to be released ahead of the Federal Reserve's September 19-20 policy meeting.

Graphics chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA) posted a standout gain after Evercore ISI raised its price target on the company's stock to USD250 from USD180. The iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (SOXX) rose 1.8% in its fifth straight daily advance, marking its biggest weekly gain since July. SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF accounts for about 8.4% of GenWealth Group Inc.'s holdings, making the stock its 3rd biggest position. Additionally, North Korea threatened to reduce the "ashes and darkness" and sink Japan, leaving the Nikkei in the red.

Helped by strong corporate earnings reports and optimism that President Donald Trump will cut business taxes, the Dow has gained 12 percent this year. The Nasdaq Composite closed at 6,448.47 for a gain of 19.38 points or 0.30%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 6.69 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,431.71. The precious metal, which had climbed to around $1,338 an ounce following North Korea's latest move, finished at a September low, down 2% on the week as reaction to perceived risks subsided.

Economic data was nearly uniformly weak on Friday, mainly as a result of hurricane Harvey's impact, save for the so-called Empire State manufacturing index for September which slipped by just 0.8 points to 24.4, denoting confidence in the sector's outlook, according to analysts. Health care stocks were higher, while technology companies fell.

US crude settled unchanged at $49.89 per barrel and Brent rose 15 cents to settle at $55.51 a barrel. The benchmark 10-year yield started the week near 2.09%; it traded around 2.19% Friday. The pound jumped to $1.3354 from $1.3197.

The US$226mln-valued company'sstock rose 3.5% on the news.

CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 110.61 yen from 110.66 yen. The S&P 500, the benchmark for many index funds, had it best week since the first week of the year. The euro weakened to $1.1906 from $1.1919.

Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.9 percent while the French CAC 40 rose 0.1 percent and Germany's DAX fell 0.2 percent.

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