New York: Wall Street stocks advanced on Friday, concluding a banner first half of the year even as a prolonged US-China trade war led to losses on the week.

The broad-based S&P 500 finished the session at 2,941.75, up 0.6 per cent for the day. The index has risen 17.3 per cent so far this year, the best first half of a year since 1997.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3 per cent to 26,559.96, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.5 per cent to 8,006.24.


Wall Street rose, buoyed by financial shares in following the results of the US Federal Reserve’s “stress tests,” although each of the major indexes snapped a three-week winning streak. The S&P 500 had its best June performance since 1955 while the Dow marked its best June since 1938.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 72.84 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 26,599.42, the S&P 500 gained 16.53 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 2,941.45 and the Nasdaq Composite added 38.49 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 8,006.24.

Banking shares also helped European indexes move higher ahead of the meeting, with Germany’s DAX leading the way with a gain of more than 1 per cent thanks to gains in Deutsche Bank AG.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.70 per cent to notch its best first half since 1998 and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.44 per cent.

MSCI’s index scored its best month since January, gaining more than 6 per cent in June as equities rallied after major central banks around the globe pivoted toward easier monetary policy stances.

That shift came as trade negotiations between the United States and China broke down earlier this year. Now markets are betting that an interest-rate cut by the Federal Reserve of at least a quarter of a percentage point is a virtual certainty as early as the next policy meeting in July, according to CME’s FedWatch tool.

On Thursday, China’s central bank pledged to support a slowing economy, before the release of data that is expected to show China’s factory activity slowed for a second consecutive month in June.

The dollar index fell 0.01 per cent against a basket of major currencies and was set to turn in its weakest monthly performance since January 2018 as anticipation of a Fed rate cut has pushed the index down about 1.7 per cent this month.