June 25th, 2015
U.S. stocks edged higher Thursday, buoyed by upbeat economic data as investors monitored Greece’s bailout talks with creditors.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 29 points, or 0.16%, to 17995. The S&P 500 was up two points, or 0.1%, at 2111, and the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 10 points, or 0.2%, to 5132.
In Europe, Germany’s DAX fell 0.2%, and France’s CAC-40 was down 0.4%. Investors continued to focus on developments in Greece’s bailout talks. Eurozone finance ministers were checking documents laying out a possible financing deal for Greece on Thursday. Without a deal, Greece is set to default on a June 30 payment to the International Monetary Fund.
While the day-to-day news about Greece’s bailout talks has been driving U.S. stock-market action recently, it doesn’t change the outlook for U.S. companies, stock investors say. The stock market’s muted moves underscore the view that many investors expect a deal between Greece and its international creditors.
U.S. stocks slipped Wednesday amid worries over Greece’s debt negotiations. The Dow fell 1% to 17966.07, and the S&P 500 lost 0.7% to 2108.58.
For the year, the Dow has added 0.8% and the S&P has gained 2.4%, through Wednesday’s close. The Nasdaq Composite has surged 8.2% in the same period.
In economic news, U.S. consumer spending in May was up 0.9% from a month earlier, the Commerce Department said, beating expectations of a 0.7% increase. The price index for personal consumption expenditures, the Fed’s favored inflation gauge, rose 0.3% in May from April. Core prices rose 0.1% from the prior month and 1.2% from a year ago.
U.S. jobless claims increased by 3,000 to 271,000 in the week ended June 20, the Labor Department said, beating expectations of 273,000 claims.
While economic reports have been mixed this year, the economy is on track for improvement in the longer run, said Kim Forrest, senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group, which manages $1.8 billion. She said she is looking to buy more technology and industrial companies.
”The economy continues to get better and these areas should benefit as capex goes up,” said Ms. Forrest. “Tech gets a boost when more people are hired. At the very least you have to add some infrastructure to support them,” she added.
In commodity markets, gold futures were down 0.03% to $1172.50 an ounce. Crude-oil futures fell 0.83% to $59.77 a barrel.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.399% from 2.371% on Wednesday. Yields rise as prices fall.
IAC/InterActiveCorp shares climbed 4.2% as the company announced an initial public offering of its Match Group division, which includes popular dating app Tinder and dating websites Match.com and OkCupid.
– Saumya Vaishampayan and Austen Hufford at Bloomberg.