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June 30. 2014 8:02PM

S&P 500, Nasdaq: 6th straight quarter of gains

NEW YORK — The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite indexes wrapped up a sixth straight quarter of gains on Monday, a streak not seen in more than 14 years.

The three major U.S. stock indexes, however, closed little changed for the day, following a set of mixed economic data.

After the S&P 500’s 30 percent gain last year, many investors had expected a halt to an equity bull market that is now in its fifth year.

But the Nasdaq has now recorded its longest streak of quarterly gains since 2000. For the S&P 500, this is the best run of quarterly gains since 1998. The Dow also marked its fifth positive quarter of the last six.

“We are overextended in the short term, and I do see a bit of a near-term correction, but the dips are seen as opportunities to put cash to work,” said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives at the Schwab Center for Financial Research in Austin, Texas.

“I think the third quarter of the year will be very much like what we just experienced, which is not that much of a move, and I see volatility picking up from the last quarter of the year.”

The S&P 500 set 22 record closing highs so far this year, which has increased concerns among some investors that the market might be due for a technical pullback. Yet the CBOE Volatility Index, Wall Street’s fear gauge, has held near multi-year lows. The VIX ended on Monday at 11.57, up 2.8 percent.

A recent Reuters poll showed market participants expect the benchmark S&P 500 to hit 2,000 for the first time before the year ends. That milestone would mark a gain of about 8.2 percent from 2013.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25.24 points or 0.15 percent, to 16,826.60. The S&P 500 dipped 0.73 of a point, or 0.04 percent, to 1,960.23. The Nasdaq Composite added 10.25 points or 0.23 percent, to 4,408.18.

For the second quarter, the Dow gained 2.2 percent, the S&P 500 rose 4.7 percent and the Nasdaq shot up 5 percent.

For the first half of the year, the Dow rose 1.5 percent while the S&P 500 jumped 6.1 percent and the Nasdaq climbed 5.5 percent.

On Monday, the market barely reacted after data from the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago showed the pace of business activity in June in the U.S. Midwest dipped more than expected from a seven-month high, and the National Association of Realtors’ pending home sales index showed contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes hit an eight-month high in May.

With a short week due to the Independence Day holiday on Friday and a ream of data due on Wednesday and Thursday, there may be increased volatility in a market that, some traders say, has been placid.

General Motors Co shares fell 0.9 percent to $36.30 after the U.S. automaker expanded the list of older models it is recalling for potentially deadly ignition switches.

Bank of New York Mellon shares rose 3.5 percent to $37.48 after Trian Fund Management LP disclosed in an amended regulatory filing it had acquired a stake of more than nine million shares of the bank.

Shares of MannKind Corp surged 9.6 percent to $10.96. The stock rallied following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval on Friday of Afrezza, the company’s inhaled insulin product, which is delivered via a whistle-sized inhaler. The FDA said the company’s product offered a new treatment option for patients with diabetes.

About 5.7 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, slightly below the 5.8 billion average for the month to date, according to data from BATS Global Markets.



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