US Stocks Close August Higher, UK Stocks Advance


US Stocks Close August Higher, UK Stocks Advance

US stocks advanced on Friday, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its biggest monthly gain since February and closing a month that witnessed vigorous gains in both equities and safe-haven government bonds.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 3.2% in August. On Friday, the benchmark index increased 18.81 points or 0.1% to 17098.38, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In August, the 10-year US Treasury note registered its biggest price gains since January. The note’s yield, which drops with price increases, closed Friday at 2.347% after reaching a 14-month low the previous session.

With equities at record highs, many investors foresee modest gains, relative to a surge of 30% by the S&P 500 in 2013.

The S&P 500 advanced 6.63 points or 0.3% on Friday to hit a record of 2003.37. It advanced 3.8% in August. The Nasdaq Composite Index rallied 22.58 or 0.5% Friday to 4580.27 for a 4.8% surge in the entire month.

Some relatively risky sectors of the equities market have done even better lately. The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index, a measure of shares that are either unprofitable or highly valued to speculative investor expectations for their growth, soared 1% on Friday to finish a 10% monthly rally.

UK shares ascended, with the blue-chip FTSE 100 Index going up 0.2% for the third weekly gain, as AstraZeneca Plc soared.

AstraZeneca climbed 2% after a report that Pfizer Inc. may have restarted takeover negotiations. Tesco Plc declined to its lowest price since 2003 after suddenly cutting its dividend and lowering its profit projections for the full year.Competitor supermarket chains J Sainsbury Plc and Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc each slumped more than 4%, Bloomberg reported.

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