(Corrects June 23 report to reflect company name is Conning,
not Conning & Co in paragraph 7)
* Nasdaq rises with help from tech
* Russell rebalance boosts trading volume
* Healthcare snaps rally, Energy up on oil price rise
* Indexes: Dow down 0.01 pct, S&P up 0.16 pct, Nasdaq up
By Sinead Carew
June 23 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks ended higher on Friday after
a last-minute trading spike and a technology sector gain offset
weakness in financial stocks and sent the Nasdaq higher, giving
it a weekly gain for the first time in three weeks.
The energy sector rebounded and finished the
strongest of the S&P’s 11 sectors with a 0.8 percent rise as oil
prices came back from multi-month lows.
Bank stocks ended lower even after they passed their annual
stress test as some results were weaker than expected and
investors focused on a flattening yield curve.
The healthcare rally faded on Friday as investors tried to
decipher whether a Senate Republican bill to replace Obamacare,
released Thursday, would gain enough support to pass.
The sector closed down 0.1 percent, clawing back some losses
after it dropped sharply late in the session when Republican
Senator Dean Heller became the fifth U.S. Republican senator to
say he would not support a healthcare bill unveiled by his party
on Thursday. The sector still closed 3.6 percent higher for the
Trading volume jumped just before the close due to FTSE
Russell’s completion of the annual refresh of its benchmarks.
“The effect is going to be focused on small-caps but there’s
an echo of that in large caps,” said Don Townswick, Director of
Equity Strategy at Conning in Hartford, Connecticut, who noted
that most rebalance-related trading is around the close.
More than 10.4 billion shares changed hands on U.S.
exchanges, well above the 7.2 billion average for the last 20
Oil prices edged up Friday after hitting their lowest point
since August earlier in the week, but showed an almost 20
percent year-to-date drop as production cuts have failed to
Even after Friday’s gains, the energy sector posted its
worst weekly decline since September.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 2.53
points, or 0.01 percent, to 21,394.76, the S&P 500 gained
3.8 points, or 0.16 percent, to 2,438.3 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 28.57 points, or 0.46 percent, to 6,265.25.
For the week, the Dow added 0.05 percent, the S&P rose 0.21
percent and the Nasdaq gained 1.84 percent.
Big technology stocks, including Apple, Facebook
and Microsoft, were the S&P 500’s biggest boosts
on the day and sent up the tech sector 0.7 percent.
The S&P financial index, fell 0.47 percent, with
pressure from banking stocks after the stress test results and
ahead of the second part of their test due on Wednesday.
“It is a sell-on-the-news effect,” said R.J. Grant, head of
trading at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods in New York. “It might get
people back to focusing on things like the yield curve.”
Instead, investors favored growth sectors such as tech.
“People are making bets that rates will stay lower for
longer and the economy will kind of muddle along and have very
tepid growth,” said Grant.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
2.14-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.85-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj
Kalluvila and Nick Zieminski)