Stocks Ended Higher as Financials Rallied

U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday, as a rally in banking stocks lifted Wall Street’s major stock indexes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 55.36 points, or 0.23%, to 24,271.41. The S&P 500 gained 2.06 points, or 0.08%, to 2,718.37. The Nasdaq Composite added 6.62 points, or 0.09%, to 7,510.30. The Dow fell 1.2% for the week while the S&P 500 lost 1.3% and the Nasdaq fell 2.4%. For the month, the Dow slipped 0.6% while the S&P rose 0.5% and the Nasdaq gained 0.9%. For the second quarter, all three ended in the green, with the Dow up 0.7%, the S&P up 2.9%, and the Nasdaq climbing 6.3%. For the first half of the year, the Dow is down 1.8% and the S&P is up 1.7%. The Nasdaq is up 8.8%.

Oil ended higher for a fourth straight session on Friday, booking strong weekly, monthly, quarterly and first-half 2018 gain. August West Texas Intermediate crude tacked on 70 cents, or nearly 1%, to settle at $74.15 a barrel. Prices for the front-month contract tacked on just over 8% for the week, saw a monthly gain of almost 11% and rose over 14% for the second quarter. Year to date, it was up by almost 23%. August Brent crude settled up $1.59, or 2%, to $79.44 a barrel.Prices for the front-month contract marked a weekly rise of almost 5.2%, a monthly advance of 2.4%, a second-quarter return of around 13% and a gain of 18.8% year to date.

General Motors Co warned on Friday that expansive U.S. tariffs on imported vehicles being considered by the Trump administration could lead to a “a smaller GM” and risks isolating U.S. businesses from the global market.

President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser urged the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates “very slowly,” ignoring the practice from preceding administrations of avoiding comments on monetary policy out of respect for the U.S. central bank’s independence.

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