Equities Pop on Soft Inflation News

The S&P 500 rose on Friday as traders digested fresh personal consumption expenditures price index data that indicated slowing inflation, as well as better-than-expected consumer sentiment figures. They are also counting down to the end of what has been a strong first half of the year.

The Dow Jones Industrials leaped 233.84 points to open the last session of the week, month and quarter at 39,397.90.

The much-broader index sprinted 32.22 points to 5,515.09.

The NASDAQ gained 109.72 points to 17,968.84.

All three have gained ground in June. The Nasdaq once again led with a month-to-date rally of more than 6%. The S&P 500 and Dow gained more than 4% and 1%, respectively.

The technology-heavy NASDAQ has led the way over the first half, climbing around 20% as artificial intelligence craze captured investor excitement. The S&P 500 has jumped more than 15%, while the blue-chip Dow has lagged with a gain of just 4.5%. Nvidia shares jumped nearly 2% on Friday.

Nike shares slipped more than 19% after the athletic retailer cut its full-year guidance. Foot Locker shares declined 1.5% in sympathy.

Inflation in May slowed to its lowest annual rate in more than three years, the Commerce Department reported on Friday. Core PCE, which excludes the more volatile food and energy prices, rose just 0.1% last month and 2.6% from the prior year. Both estimates were in line with the Dow Jones consensus estimates. The core PCE index is the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure. Headline PCE, which includes food and energy, was flat on the month and also up 2.6% on an annual basis, also in line with expectations.

The consumer sentiment index for June also came in higher than expected, rising to 68.2 from the preliminary 65.6 reading. The one-year inflation outlook also fell to 3% from 3.3% expected in May.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury fell slightly, raising yields to 4.30% from Thursday’s 4.29%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite

Oil prices subtracted 50 cents at $81.24 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices took on a dollar to $2,337.60

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