US stocks inch higher, all set to end the week with strong gains
On the last trading day of the week, major US equity indices witnessed flat to positive opening as investors digested today's disappointing US macro releases.
Data released on Friday showed headline CPI eased further to a yearly rate of 1.6% during June, down from 1.9% recorded in May and marking the smallest rise since October 2016. Moreover, monthly retail sales unexpectedly fell for the second straight month in June.
Today's dismal economic data dampened prospects for additional Fed rate hike action in 2017 and boosted investors' appetite for riskier assets - like equities. Early gains, however, were tepid amid mixed earnings reports from major banks, including J.P. Morgan, Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo.
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During the opening hour of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added around 25-points to 21,578, while the broader S&P 500 Index was up 4-points to 2,452. Meanwhile, tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite outperformed the broader indices and climbed nearly 17-points to 6,291.
Nevertheless, all the three major indices remained on track to end the week on a strong footing, with DJIA up by around 0.6%, S&P gaining over 1% and the Nasdaq posting solid gains of over 2%.
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