* Nike shares surge after results, Amazon program
* Biotech declines hold back Nasdaq
* S&P tech sector set to post first monthly loss of year
* Indexes up: Dow 0.44 pct, S&P 0.35 pct, Nasdaq 0.21 pct
(Updates to late afternoon)
By Lewis Krauskopf
June 30 (Reuters) – Major U.S. stock indexes were poised on
Friday to end a volatile week on a high note, boosted by Nike’s
well-received quarterly report, with the S&P 500 set to post its
best first half of the year since 2013.
Nike shares rose 11.3 percent after the world’s
largest footwear maker reported a quarterly profit that topped
estimates and said it would launch a pilot online sales program
with Amazon.com. Nike shares gave the
biggest boost to the Dow industrials and the S&P 500.
A pullback in biotech shares, which had surged of
late, limited the Nasdaq’s gains.
The S&P technology index climbed 0.3 percent but
was still on track to post its first monthly loss of the year.
Tech has led the S&P 500’s 8.4 percent rally this year, but its
recent pullback suggests investors may be cashing in those
profits to rotate to other sectors.
“Are we going to see a broadening of the rally, where you
see more of the financials and other sectors fill in some of the
gaps?” said Alan Lancz, president of Alan B. Lancz & Associates
Inc., an investment advisory firm in Toledo, Ohio.
“It hasn’t been a broad encompassing rally that I think
investors will have to see a little bit more conviction rather
than just in a handful of stocks,” Lancz said.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 93.2 points, or
0.44 percent, to 21,380.23, the S&P 500 gained 8.5
points, or 0.35 percent, to 2,428.2 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 12.76 points, or 0.21 percent, to 6,157.11.
Industrials led gains among sectors, rising 0.9
percent, while financials lagged, falling 0.2 percent.
With the second quarter coming to a close, the S&P 500 was
on track to record its biggest percentage first-half gain since
climbing 12.6 percent in the first six months of 2013.
U.S. consumer spending rose modestly in May and inflation
cooled, pointing to a slow-but-steady economic expansion. The
Commerce Department data bolstered the view that the U.S.
economy is rebounding in the second quarter.
Investors have been concerned about recent mixed economic
data at a time that the Federal Reserve begins lifting interest
rates from very low levels.
“In the next four to six weeks we’ll get another set of
economic data that will tell us if the Fed is justified in
raising rates again this year,” said Terry Sandven, chief equity
strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.
Second-quarter corporate results are set to begin in earnest
in the coming weeks, with S&P 500 companies expected to post an
8-percent rise in earnings, according to Thomson Reuters
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
1.90-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.05-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
(Additional reporting by Ankur Banerjee, Anya George Tharakan
and Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Nick