US Stocks Edge Higher on Economic data


US Stocks Edge Higher on Economic data

US stocks gained, extending the previous session’s rebound with bullish retail sales and jobs data, offsetting negative data over Greece’s economic talks with its international creditors.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average grew 38.97 points or 0.2% to close at 18,039.97 points. the blue-chip index had touched its highest trading levels in more than six days immediately after the retail report but pared gains on the news from Greece.

The S&P 500 index closed 3.7 points or 0.2% higher at 2108.86 points with eight of the benchmark index’s ten key sectors ending higher on the day led by utilities with a 0.66% advance.

The technology heavy Nasdaq Composite lagged slightly behind the other major indexes with a relatively modest 4.73 point or 0.09% advance.

Data from the government showed that US retail sales grew 1.2% in May topping the 1.1% consensus estimate of analysts polled by Reuters.

The bullish sales data came as households boosted automobile purchases and other durable goods and the average household spending on gasoline increased.

The solid jobs report came after a separate jobs report showed that new applications for jobless benefits remained under 300,000 for the sixth straight week pointing towards stability in the labor industry.

“Finally consumers are spending. This is going to bode well for second-quarter (gross domestic product) and for corporate profits,” Doug Cote, chief market strategist at Voya Investment Management, told the Wall Street Journal.

“First quarter is in the rearview mirror and second quarter is coming out gangbusters,” he said, adding that he is advising clients that this bull market has legs.

Capping the rally however was news from the negotiations between Greece and its international creditors over a potential bailout after the International Monetary Fund reported that its team of negotiators had exited the talks after failing to make progress on a potential deal.

To contact the reporter of the story: Samuel Rae at