Tech shares lead US stocks; retailers lag

NEW YORK (AFP) – Tech shares finished the week on a strong note, lifting the Nasdaq on Friday (June 23), while leading retailers fell following another weak earnings report from a leading store chain.

A muted session ended with market sentiment bolstered modestly as oil prices mustered a second straight gain after falling to multi-month lows earlier in the week. Leading oil producers advanced, including Dow members ExxonMobil and Chevron.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the week down a hair at 21,396.33.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.2 per cent to close at 2,438.31, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.5 per cent to end at 6,265.25.

US stocks sit near records, a state that has analysts such as Briefing.com’s Patrick O’Hare preaching caution.

He said “the near-term risk for the equity market is elevated, because the market’s valuation is stretched, the legislative process that is required for implementing tax reform is strained, and the Federal Reserve’s easy monetary policy is becoming less easy.”

Among tech stocks, Google-parent Alphabet, Facebook, Microsoft and Netflix were among the companies gaining one percent or more, while Apple rose 0.5 per cent.

But large retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores, Home Depot and Costco Wholesale, tumbled about 1 per cent or more after a disappointing earnings report by Bed Bath & Beyond rekindled worries about the sector’s prospects with the rise of e-commerce.

Bed Bath & Beyond slumped 12.1 per cent after reporting comparable sales fell 2 per cent in the first quarter.