Investing.com - U.S. stocks finished Friday's session in
positive territory buoyed by upbeat housing data and demand for
tech shares among bottom fishers.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow 30 rose 0.27%, the S&P
500 index rose 0.37%, while the NASDAQ Composite index rose
The Census Bureau reported earlier that U.S. building permits
rose 8% to 1.080 million units last month, up from an upwardly
revised 1.000 million in March. Analysts were expecting building
permits to rise to 1.010 million units in April, and the
better-than-expected figure gave the greenback support.
The report also showed that housing starts rose to 1.072 million
units in April, from 947,000 in March, whose figure was revised up
from a previously estimated 946,000. Analysts had expected building
starts to rise to 980,000 units last month.
Soft consumer sentiment data watered down gains earlier, though
late-session buying brought all major indices into positive
territory at the closing bell.
The preliminary Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer
sentiment index fell to 81.8 in May from 84.1 in April, confounding
market expectations for a 84.5 reading.
Elsewhere, bargain hunters snapped up technology and small-cap
equities, the beneficiaries of exceptionally loose monetary
policies since the 2008 downtown.
The Federal Reserve is expected to wind up its monthly
bond-buying program later this year.
Fed asset purchases boost stock prices by suppressing long-term
interest rates, and expectations for the Fed to wind down the
program this year have bruised tech, biotech and small-cap stocks
in recent sessions.
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Verizon
Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ), up 2.32%, Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD),
up 1.48%, and Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE), which was down 1.38%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included
United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX), down 0.96%, Intel
Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), down 0.71%, and Chevron Corporation
(NYSE:CVX), down 0.49%.
European indices, meanwhile, largely higher.
After the close of European trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 rose
0.18%, France's CAC 40 rose 0.26%, while Germany's DAX fell 0.28%.
Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 rose 0.22%.
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