U.S. Stocks Close Out Week With Gains

U.S. stocks climbed Friday after major central banks set the stage for looser monetary policy.

Major indexes are up more than 2% in July, adding to huge gains in June, even as worries about the broader U.S. economy continue. This week provided another jolt to the market as comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell appeared to all but guarantee the central bank could cut interest rates as soon as later this month, some analysts said. This sparked a wave of money into U.S. stocks.

"The most important thing for the market is the Fed is not going to hike rates," said Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist for Wells Fargo Investment Institute. "We have modest growth, modest inflation, we're not fighting the Fed and it looks like we'll have a trade deal, so it makes sense to me where the market is."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 243.95 points, or 0.9%, a day after the benchmark gauge topped 27000 for the first time. The S&P 500 gained 0.5%, closing above 3000. Though the index had breached the 3000 level during the trading session the past two days, it had yet to close above that level.

The Nasdaq Composite edged up 0.6%, its gains tempered by weakness in biotechnology firms. Earlier, the Nasdaq Biotechnology index declined 1.4% in recent trading. Shares of Illumina, the maker of gene-sequencing machines, plummeted 16% after the San Diego company lowered expectations for second-quarter revenue.

Meanwhile, the yield on 10-year Treasurys edged down to 2.121%, from 2.122% Thursday. Yields fall when bond prices rise. For the week, yields rose as some data showed mounting inflation.

In Europe, the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 index rose less than 0.1%. Shares of Anheuser-Busch InBev slipped 1.5% after the company's Asian unit said its IPO would price in the lower half of its range. Among the biggest gainers were the chemicals and auto sectors. German car maker Daimler was the only exception in its industry, falling 1.1% after it issued a profit warning.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4% and Japan's Nikkei ticked up 0.2%.

Data released Friday morning showed Eurozone industrial production rose sharply in May, raising hopes that the long slowdown in the region's manufacturing sector could be leveling off.

Minutes from the European Central Bank's recent meeting released on Thursday signaled fresh stimulus was under consideration. Earlier in the week, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the economic outlook hadn't improved, hinting at a coming interest-rate cut.

"Interest rates are low and they probably will remain lower for longer," said Christopher Peel, chief investment officer at Tavistock Wealth.

U.S.-traded crude oil rose 0.3% to $60.39 a barrel, as traders anticipated supply disruptions from a storm in the Gulf of Mexico and rising tensions in the Middle East.

Write to Lauren Almeida at lauren.almeida@wsj.com and Corrie Driebusch at corrie.driebusch@wsj.com

  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  07-12-19 1632ET
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