Wall Street ended a bullish week with a modest advance yesterday as strong economic data encouraged investors and sent the Standard &...
NEW YORK — Wall Street ended a bullish week with a modest advance yesterday as strong economic data encouraged investors and sent the Standard & Poor’s 500 index to a four-year high for the second straight session.
Government economic reports were unabashedly positive, just as they were in the previous session. The Labor Department’s Producer Price Index, which measures inflation in wholesale prices, was flat in June, while “core” PPI — with food and fuel costs removed — fell 0.1 percent.
In addition, the Federal Reserve reported industrial production surged 0.9 percent in June, the biggest jump in 14 months. And business inventories rose by a meager 0.1 percent in May, according to the Commerce Department, meaning that sales are brisk and businesses aren’t stuck with large inventories.
But some analysts questioned the week’s move higher as overdone — the Dow Jones industrials gained 1.83 percent, for example — and predicted that a selloff was imminent.
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“If you look around, is this economic data really worth the jump we had?” said Bill Groenveld, head trader at vFinance Investments. “I don’t think so, and that means we’ll probably have to have a pullback at some point. We still have oil out there, and we still have the Fed.”
After spending most of the session in negative territory, the Dow rose 11.94, or 0.11 percent, to 10,640.83. It was the Dow’s best close since March 16.
In Northwest stocks, Boeing rose 17 cents to close at $64.75. Microsoft dropped 18 cents to close at $25.79.
Broader stock indicators closed modestly higher after also trading lower much of the day. The S&P 500 rose 1.42, or 0.12 percent, to 1,227.92, and the Nasdaq composite index gained 3.96, or 0.18 percent, to 2,156.78, beating the previous session’s 2005 high.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies was up 0.72, or 0.11 percent, at 663.74.
Positive inflation data, reports of strong retail-sales activity and a sharp drop-off in oil prices combined to give Wall Street a very strong week. The S&P climbed 1.33 percent over the course of the week and the Nasdaq rose 2.08 percent.
The dollar rose against most major currencies due to the strong economic data, while gold prices moved lower. A barrel of light crude settled at $58.09, up 29 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The S&P and Nasdaq have been up for seven straight sessions, while the Dow has climbed six of the last seven trading days.