Stocks Spring 2% Higher in May Advance

By MarketsFOXBusiness

FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

The Dow and broader S&P 500 capped May at record closing highs, having climbed more than 2% as technology and telecommunications stocks led the way higher.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 18.4 points, or 0.11%, 16717, the S&P 500 rose 3.5 points, or 0.18%, to 1924 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 5.3 points, or 0.13%, 4243.

For the month, the Dow rose 0.81%, the S&P 500 climbed 2.1% and the Nasdaq jumped 3.1%.

The broad S&P 500 has managed to move ever higher, striking new highs along the way. The Dow has lagged slightly, closing at a new closing high on Friday, but failing to take out its intra-day high of 16736.

For the month, the technology and telecommunications sectors posted the largest advances. Retailers and health-care stocks performed well as well. The only sector that ended in the red was utilities, generally seen as a save haven.

Despite the Federal Reserve's moves to cut its bond purchases, the 10-year Treasury bond curiously ticked down on the month, indicating traders scooped up the asset. The yield declined 0.188 percentage points to 2.459%.

There were a handful of key economic reports out Friday.

The Commerce Department reports consumer spending fell 0.1% in April, the first decline in a year, while Wall Street was expecting spending to rise 0.2%. Personal income, meanwhile, rose 0.3%, matching consensus estimates. At the same time, a final reading on consumer sentiment from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan came in at 81.9, compared to 84.1 in April, missing Wall Street estimates of 82.5.

Consumers have been bouncing back after a harsh winter suppressed employment and activity.

Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago’s manufacturing activity gauge rose to 65.5 in May from 63 the month prior, surpassing Wall Street’s expectation for a drop to 61. The reading was the highest since October.

Elsewhere, U.S. stock-index futures fell 50 cents, or 0.48%, to $103.09 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.21% to $1,254 a troy ounce.

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