Wall Street came off its highs but stayed stronger on Friday, capping the first half of the year with gains as earnings from blue-chip Nike ( NKE ) propped up the Dow Jones Industrial Average while advances in energy and industrials aided the Standard & Poor's 500.
The Nasdaq Composite has outperformed so far in 2018, hitting the halfway point with a gain of almost 9%. A volatile first half that saw markets drop into correction territory before recouping some losses brought mixed results for the S&P and the Dow in the six months, but both were higher in Friday's session.
On the week, the Dow was down 1.2%, the S&P 500 fell 1.3% and the Nasdaq lost about 2.4%.
Among the sectors, energy rose 0.8% Friday on more gains in oil prices , with West Texas Intermediate settling above $74 a barrel in the highest close since late 2014 on a week that saw the US step up pressure on countries to halt crude imports from Iran.
Financials ended flat, giving back much of the gains made after banks had their capital plans approved by the passed the Federal Reserve late Thursday. Quarter-end selling pressure send some of the top names in the sector into the red later in the session, with profit taken off the table into the weekend.
Markets were also digesting comments from White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow who broke with a tradition of administrations refraining from commenting on monetary policy by telling Fox Business he hopes the Fed raises rates very slowly.
Nearly all of the S&P's group were up on Friday, but the broader buying mood sent the safe haven telecoms sector down 0.5% by the bell. Consumer staples swung into loss territory, ending 0.05% lower. On the Dow, just over half of the blue chips stayed in the green as the measure -- up more than 200 points earlier in the day -- gave back much of its gains into the bell.
Here's where the markets stood by the close:
Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 55.36 points (+0.23%)
S&P 500 was up 2.06 points (+0.08%)
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 6.62 points (+0.09%)
FTSE 100 was up 0.28%
Nikkei 225 was up 0.15%
Hang Seng Index was up 1.61%
Shanghai China Composite Index was up 2.2%
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(+) WFC (+3.45%) Gets Fed approval to return capital to shareholders
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(-) STZ (-5.63%) Adjusted earnings miss estimates
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(-) GM (-2.71%) Offers warning on US production, jobs amid tariffs concerns
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