Friday, August 10, 2012

S&P 500 gains six days streak

S&P 500 gains six days streak

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Standard & Poor's 500 finished slightly higher on Friday to run its streak to six straight sessions, but activity was light and gains were slight as the market enters a seasonally slow period.

The Dow and the S&P 500 closed out their fifth straight week of gains, led once again by expectations for global central bank stimulus despite discouraging signs for growth like weak data from China.

Overall, the S&P has gained a scant 0.3 percent over the past three sessions, a sign that while investors aren't looking to cut positions, they're also reluctant to make robust moves above the three-month highs the S&P has been hovering around.

Volume was incredibly light, with about 4.97 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, well below last year's daily average of 7.84 billion.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 42.76 points, or 0.32 percent, to 13,207.95 at the close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (^GSPC) added 2.97 points, or 0.21 percent, at 1,405.77. The Nasdaq Composite Index (^IXIC) advanced 2.22 points, or 0.07 percent, to close at 3,020.86.
Data on Chinese trade and bank lending suggested pro-growth policies have been insufficient in the face of weak demand from China's trading partners, and more urgent government action may be needed to stabilize the economy. Data on Chinese exports included a 16 percent decline in shipments to Europe from a year ago.
Trading has been relatively light in August, ahead of what is anticipated to be a busier September when market participants return from summer holidays and central banks, including the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, may swing into action.

The European Central Bank is expected to act soon, though not before September, to lower punishing borrowing costs for Spain and Italy as a way to stabilize the euro zone's economy.

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