Close Update: Wall Street Edges Higher on Upbeat Data, Shrugs off Increased Geopolitical Risks

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Stocks closed marginally higher on Friday with mixed data on consumer spending and sentiment helping offset rising geopolitical risks from Russian aggression in Ukraine and possible U.S. military action in Syria. While the long holiday weekend resulted in very thin volumes, all three major indices managed to close on the plus side. The S&P 500 clung to the 2000 level for nearly the entire session after drifting off the record high of 2005 midday, while the Nasdaq also pulled off its 14-year high but held onto a respectable gain into the close. All three indices, however, are higher for the fourth consecutive week, ending the month on the plus side.

As August draws to a close, the Dow Jones Industrial was 3% higher for the month while the S&P 500 climbed 3.8% and the Nasdaq notched a 4.0% monthly advance.

Trading was uneventful, belying a day full of normally market-moving events. Consumer spending unexpectedly declined during July while there was only anemic improvement in personal income last month. The pre-market data resulted in a lower open, but the markets rebounded on a much stronger-than-expected increase in the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index and the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rising to a seven-year high.

But stocks drifted off their session highs the afternoon after the UK raised their terror threat level to severe as a result of increased risks from Iraq and Syria. Reaction, however, was tempered by strong support in the S&P 500 at 2000 as well as upbeat earnings from Splunk ( SPLK ) and Avago ( AVGO ) that helped underpin the Nasdaq.

Commodity prices were mixed with gold losing $2.80 in value per ounce, oil up $1.30 per barrel and the dollar higher against all the major currencies. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged 1 basis point higher to 2.35%.

Here's where the U.S. markets stood at the close:

Dow Jones Industrial Index was down 18.88 (+0.11%) at 17,098.45

S&P 500 was up 6.63 (+0.33%) at 2,003.37

Nasdaq Composite Index was up 22.58 (+0.50%) at 4,580.27

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 was up 0.20%

Hang Seng Index was unchanged

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 0.97%

UPSIDE MOVERS:

(+) NCTY, Enters license deal with System Link for 'Firefall' game in China.

(+) CRTO, France's Publicis Groupe in talks to buy Criteo SA.

(+) UTHR, Wins patent infringement lawsuit against Sandoz.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) FRO, Continues to decline after warning on Thursday it may not be able repay a $190 million convertible bond loan coming due next April.

(-) KNDI, Announced plans for a private placement of 4.12 million shares at around $20.60 apiece, a 7.7% premium to Thursday's closing price of $19.12 a share.

(-) UBIC, Acquires outstanding shares of TechLaw Solutions.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: SPLK , AVGO

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