US Shares Close Week on a High

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US Shares Close Week on a HighMost Wall Street shares closed on a high on Friday, sending the S&P 500 to a record high for its fourth-straight monthly gain.

The S$P 500 added 3.54 points or 0.2% to 1923.57. The gauge advanced 2.1% in May, its biggest gain in a month since February.

According to the Wall Street Journal, traders say that slow-but-solid growth in various components of the US economy, including payrolls and manufacturing, have sent investors holding on to optimistic bets in US equities.

Todd Hedtke of Allianz Investment Management said that Federal Reserve bonds have appealed to money managers as safer investments, with economic recovery remaining sluggish and the US central bank indicating that it’s unlikely to hike interest rates soon, a move that could hurt proceeds from bonds.

The Dows Jones Industrial Average soared 18.43 points or 0.1%, hitting 16717.17.  The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 5.33 points or 0.1% to close at 4242.62. The Dow increased 0.8% and the Nasdaq added 3.1% in May.

Consumer buying in the US slid in April for the first time in 2014.

“Very mixed signals, which prevents bears from getting aggressive and keeps bulls in place. It’s effectively forestalled any real significant directional shift to what we’ve seen thus far,” Peter Kenny of New York-based Clearpool Group told Reuters.

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Investors in stocks watched closely US Treasury yields. The 10-year Treasury note yield surged after impressive Chicago PMI figures, but kept below 2.5%, almost touching an 11-month low posted on Thursday.

Such low returns helped bolster dividend-paying equities. High-return utilities gained the most in the S&P 500 on Friday, ascending 0.6%.

Big Lots stock added 12.4% to $42.15 after posting better-than-projected results and higher sales.

Express and Guess tumbled one day after the apparel retailers announced lower-than-expected profit forecasts for the current quarter. Express went down 9.3% while Guess decreased 4.5%.

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To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com