Updated from 10:36 a.m. ET on Friday, June 23.
Stocks turned slightly to modestly higher on Friday, June 23, as crude oil prices made an unexpected turn higher to reclaim $43 a barrel.
The S&P 500 was up 0.22%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.04%, and the Nasdaq gained 0.28%.
The S&P 500 has had a fairly muted week with big gains on Monday, June 19, offset by big losses on Tuesday, June 20. The index has fallen for the last three sessions and is on track to climb 0.11% for the week.
Crude oil prices leveled off around $43 a barrel on Friday, stabilizing after two days of losses followed by a day of gains. A selloff over Tuesday, June 20, and Wednesday, June 21, sent prices to their lowest level in 10 months. Crude oil prices moved into a bear market, after having fallen more than 20% from a late February high. Oil had been lower on worries over global oversupply and ballooning production.
West Texas Intermediate crude turned higher, rising 0.8% to $43.06 a barrel. It had traded lower earlier in the session.
Healthcare stocks were also stable on Friday after two days of gains. The sector had rallied on high hopes that the Senate GOP healthcare bill and relaxed regulations from the Trump White House would benefit drugmakers.
The healthcare sector has had one of its best weekly performances since the week ended Nov. 11. The Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV) - Get Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund Report has risen 3.5% for the week. The ETF was down 0.25% on Friday.
Friday could be one of the heaviest trading days of the year as investors tinker with their portfolios while the Russell indexes undergo reconstitution. An estimated $3.8 trillion in assets track the Russell indices; 43 names will head from the Russell 1000 into the Russell 2000; 31 companies will go the other way. Just within the 2000, there will be 186 additions and 107 deletions. There will also be 10 additions to the 1000. Between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion are expected to flow into both the energy and tech sectors, while financials should see outflows of more than $2.6 billion.
The Russell 2000 undefined climbed 0.6%, while the iShares Russell 2000 Index ETF (IWM) - Get iShares Russell 2000 ETF Report climbed 0.6%. The iShares index had reached volume of 5.65 million by late morning.
Manufacturing activity in June fell to a nine-month low. A flash reading of manufacturing PMI declined to 52.1 in June, down from 52.7 in May, though still above the 50-level indicative of growth.
New home sales came in hot in May, suggesting demand was still robust in the housing sector. Sales of newly built homes in the U.S. increased to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 610,000, higher than an expected reading of 590,000. April's reading was revised down to 569,000 from 642,000.
One year ago Friday, the U.K. voted to exit the European Union, a decision that sent global markets into a sharp selloff. The S&P 500 slumped more than 3% the day after the U.K. vote. Negotiations between the U.K. and the EU began earlier this week. Parties from both are determining the details of the U.K.'s plan to remove itself from the soon-to-be 27-country bloc. Negotiators have until May 2019 to agree on new deals on trade, immigration, and financial commitments, among other issues, before the U.K. officially leaves the EU.
Finish Line Inc. (FINL) rose 9% despite reporting an unexpected decline in same-store sales over its first quarter. Same-store sales over the three-month period dropped by 1.1%, a surprise to analysts expecting an increase of 1.6%. The shoe retailer met profit estimates over its recent quarter, though revenue fell short of consensus.
Bed, Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY) - Get Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Report tumbled 12% after missing profit and sales estimates over its recent quarter. Earnings of 53 cents a share weakened from 80 cents a year earlier and missed estimates of 66 cents. Revenue came in flat at $2.74 billion and fell short of $2.79 billion consensus. The homewares retailer said digital sales were strong, though endured in-store sales softness.
BlackBerry Ltd. undefined was lower by after a mixed quarter. The tech company swung to a net profit of $1.23 a share from a loss of $1.28 a share in the same quarter a year earlier. Adjusted earnings of 2 cents a share came in better than an expected breakeven result. However, revenue declined to $235 million from $400 million and adjusted revenue missed estimates.
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) - Get Caterpillar Inc. Report fell on Friday after analysts at Deutsche Bank cut their rating for stock from buy to hold. The broker also cut its price target for the shares, to $106, saying much of the benefit from a nascent recovery in the mining sector has already been priced into the stock.
Synchronoss Technologies Inc. (SNCR) - Get Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. Reportsurged 36% after it received an unsolicited takeover inquiry from private-equity firm Siris Capital Group. Siris said it could offer Synchronoss $18 a share, a 48% premium to its Thursday close. Siris currently holds 12.9% of Synchronoss' shares outstanding.
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