US STOCKS-Wall St ends bumpy week, strong 1st half with modest gain

* Nike shares surge after results, Amazon program

* Nasdaq dips as biotechs decline

* S&P tech sector posts first monthly loss of year

* Dow up 0.29 pct, S&P up 0.15 pct, Nasdaq down 0.06 pct
(Updates to close of U.S. markets)

By Lewis Krauskopf

June 30 (Reuters) – Major U.S. stock indexes on Friday ended
a volatile week on a modestly high note, boosted by Nike’s
well-received quarterly report, with the S&P 500 tallying its
best first half of the year since 2013.

Nike shares rose 11 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.

The S&P technology index ended down 0.1 percent
and posted its first monthly loss of the year, while a decline
in biotech shares, which had surged of late, also limited
the Nasdaq.

Tech has led the S&P 500’s 8.2 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 62.6 points, or
0.29 percent, to 21,349.63, the S&P 500 gained 3.71
points, or 0.15 percent, to 2,423.41 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 3.93 points, or 0.06 percent, to 6,140.42.

Industrials were the top performing sector, rising
0.8 percent.

“When you look at some of the stocks that are doing
particularly well today, they are some of those economically
sensitive-type stocks,” said Chuck Carlson, chief executive
officer at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana.

“During a time when it seems like there are still a fair
amount of naysayers out there about the economy and GDP, anytime
you get some of those stocks showing some strength, it probably
emboldens the market,” Carlson said.

With the second quarter coming to a close, the S&P 500
recorded its biggest percentage first-half gain since climbing
12.6 percent in the first six months of 2013. The Nasdaq posted
its biggest first-half gain since 2009.

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.

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
I/B/E/S.

Investors have been looking for earnings to support
historically high valuations, with the S&P 500 trading at about
18 times earnings estimates for the next 12 months compared to
the long-term average of 15 times.

“We can talk about the economy and geopolitical risk but
earnings drive the market,” said Chris Bertelsen, chief
investment officer of Aviance Capital Management in Sarasota,
Florida. “We’re bumping right along the top end of” historic
valuation levels.

About 6.6 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges,
below the 7.3 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
1.60-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.01-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

(Additional reporting by Kimberly Chin in New York and Ankur
Banerjee, Anya George Tharakan and Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru;
Editing by Arun Koyyur and Nick Zieminski)


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