S&P 500 tops 2500 mark as tech and bank stocks climb

By Sruthi Shankar

By Sruthi Shankar

Wall Street closed in the green on Friday, led by technology stocks, despite North Korea's latest missile launch.

At 9.39am ET (9.39pm Singapore time), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 28.81 points, or 0.13 per cent, at 22,232.29, the S&P 500 was down 0.45 points, or 0.01 per cent, at 2,495.17.

The S&P 500 rose less than a point to begin the day at 2,469 points, and the Nasdaq added 2 points to open at 6,431 points.

In parallel, the Commerce Department reported a 0.2% drop for retail sales volumes in August (consensus: 0.1%), alongside downwards revisions to prior month's data. And every market sector showed increases, despite reports showing Hurricanes Harvey and Irma had a big impact on United States retail sales and industrial activity in August that is likely to cut economic growth in the third quarter.

After several days of gains, U.S. share prices were mixed in opening trade on Thursday as investors digested a raft of data. The Japanese yen weakened 0.62 percent versus the greenback at 110.91 per $1, and sterling last traded at $1.3567, up 1.28 percent on the day.

US industrial output fell 0.9% in August, its first drop in seven months.

There was mixed news from the manufacturing sector, as total industrial activity plunged 0.9% percent in August, versus expectations of a 0.1% decline.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading regional shares lost 0.41 percent to close at 1,495.38.

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Following the mixed performance seen in the previous session, stocks moved modestly higher over the course of the trading day on Friday.

We can also take a look at the Average Directional Index or ADX of Lyxor UCITS ETF Dow Jones Industrial Average D-EUR (DJEL.L). Many companies on the British FTSE 100 are multinationals whose overseas earnings are diminished in value when the pound appreciates against other currencies. The pound jumped to $1.3354 from $1.3197.

The consumer discretionary index fell 0.54%, pulled down by a 0.74% decline in Amazon.com and a 0.93% dip in Walt Disney. European stocks finished down across the board, while the pound hit a fresh 2017 high against the buck, trading above the $1.36 mark following another hawkish signal from the Bank of England. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, shed 35 cents to $55.12 barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline rose 3 cents to $1.66 a gallon. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1967 compared to yesterday's $1.1919.

Telecommunications services was the S&P 500's single best performer.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 0.1 percent to 19,835.30 but South Korea's Kospi lost 0.4 percent to 2,369.32.

The Fed said Hurricane Harvey is estimated to have reduced the rate of change in total output by roughly three-quarters of a percentage point.

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