U.S. stocks were mostly lower Friday although the NASDAQ managed a tiny gain, as the second quarter ended. Volume was light as many Wall Street types left early for the holiday week. Investors were treated to another round of Federal Reserve speeches, all with essentially the same message as has been delivered all week. The S&P 500 fell 0.4% while the NASDAQ was fractionally higher; for the month both were down 1.5%. This was the first losing month since November 2012. Then ten year U.S. treasury yield fell to jut under 2.5%. Smartphone maker Blackberry (BBRY) was hit very hard Friday, down 28%, as it reported disappointing sales and guidance.
- The Institute for Supply Management's Chicago-area purchasing managers' index for June fell more than expected, at 51.6 from 58.7 in May. A Reuters survey of economists on average expected a median reading of 56.0 in June versus the May figure of 58.7.
- Consumer sentiment improved in late June, with the final reading on the overall index at 84.1, above the preliminary reading of 82.7, according to Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan.
There was a sharp rebound in precious metals as some institutional investors who did not want to show them on their second quarter holdings (which closed earlier in the week) added back to these oversold metals Friday. Gold gained 1% to $1223.70, while silver soared 4.95% to $19.45. Crude oil fell 0.5% to $96.56.
British stocks fell 0.45%, Germany stocks 0.4%, and French stocks 0.6%.
China gained 1.5% and Japan 3.5%. Japan released a bevy of economic data:
- Retail sales for May rose 0.8 % year on year, also snapping a losing streak that lasted four months.
- Industrial output rose 2% in May and up for the fourth month in a row.
- Consumer price inflation was positive for the first time in 7 months.