U.S. stocks closed slightly higher Friday, the first day of the quarter, in a fourth day of gains after the post-Brexit sell-off.
The S&P 500 closed above the psychologically key 2,100 level and gained 3.22 percent for the week, its best since November. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 2.15 percent on the week, also its best week since November.
“It just brings us back to equilibrium,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.
The major averages have recovered most, but not all, of their losses following the surprise British vote to leave the European Union last week. The Nasdaq composite had its best week since May.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed about 19 points higher after earlier topping the psychologically key 18,000 level in intraday trade for the first time since the Brexit vote. Home Depot had the greatest positive impact.
Consumer discretionary led S&P sector advancers, helped by gains of nearly 20 percent in shares of Harley-Davidson and a more than 5.5 percent rise in Netflix. Financials fell half a percent to lead decliners.
“Just continued risk-on everywhere. Europe’s doing really really well. ISM was strong. … Crude’s up,” said Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities. He also attributed intraday gains to first-of-month flows.
However, many remain skeptical of the sustainability of those gains and traders attributed much of the rebound to month-end and quarter-end flows.
“Next week you’re still (in) fairly light volume, which means the first sign of trouble people could get out of the way,” Klein said.
U.S. markets are closed Monday for the July 4 holiday.
U.S. crude oil futures settled up 66 cents, or 1.37 percent, at $48.99 a barrel. U.S. oil rigs rose for the fourth week in five, up 11 to 341, according to Baker Hughes.
In economic news, the final Markit June manufacturing PMI was 51.3, up from 50.7 in May and the highest in three months, but a touch below the initial read for June of 51.4.
The ISM manufacturing came in at 53.2 for June from 51.3 the month before and above expectations of 51.4 from a Reuters poll. The employment index rose to 50.4 from 49.2 a month earlier, versus expectations of 49.0.
“The ISM on the heels of Chicago PMI makes things look like they’re coming back on the manufacturing front, albeit from a low, and signalling things are stabilizing a little on the manufacturing front,” said Bryce Doty, senior fixed income manager with Sit Investment Associates.
Global benchmark yields have held lower despite the recent rebound in stocks. The 10-year Treasury yield was near 1.44 percent after earlier touching its lowest in about four years. The 30-year Treasury yield hit an all-time low but recovered to trade near 2.22 percent. The 2-year yield was near 0.69 percent.
Overseas, the British 10-year Gilt yield hit a record low of 0.779 percent. The Japanese 10-year note yield hit an all-time low of negative 0.251 percent.
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said Friday on CNBC the Fed had no plans to try negative interest rates. He also said it was too soon to tell whether Britain’s vote to leave the European Union had changed the U.S. economic outlook.
“It was a relief for someone in his position to acknowledge not all the effects of negative rates are positive,” Doty said.
Separately, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said the central bank was right to delay raising rates before the Brexit vote, but shouldn’t wait too long.
In other economic news, U.S. construction spending fell for a second straight month in May.
June U.S. vehicle sales came in at a 16.7 million at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in June, versus a 17.5 million rate in May, according to Autodata.
Overnight, China’s official manufacturing PMI edged lower to 50.0 last month, versus 50.1 the prior two months. Caixin’s manufacturing PMI was 48.6 reading for June, down from May’s 49.2 print.
Asian stocks closed mostly higher, with the Nikkei 225 up about two-thirds of a percent and the Shanghai composite mildly higher.
European stocks were more than half a percent higher and posted solid gains for the week. However, the STOXX Europe 600 banks index fell more than 2 percent for the week and is down about 31 percent year-to-date.
Pound sterling was near $1.328. The U.S. dollar index was about half a percent lower, with the euro near $1.113 and the yen around 102.6 yen versus the greenback.
Friday marked the first trading day of the quarter. The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 posted their third-straight quarter of gains Thursday as stocks recovered much of their post-Brexit plunge.
The S&P 500 closed up 4.09 points, or 0.19 percent, at 2,102.95, with consumer discretionary leading seven sectors higher and financials the greatest decliner.
The S&P rose 3.22 percent for the week with telecoms leading all 10 sectors higher.
The Nasdaq composite closed up 19.89 points, or 0.41 percent, at 4,862.57.
The index gained 3.28 percent for the week. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) rose 5.51 percent for the week, its best weekly performance since mid-July last year. Apple gained more than 2.5 percent for the week.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded below 15 to hit a three-week low.
About two stocks advanced for every decliner on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 843 million and a composite volume of 3.4 billion in the close.
High-frequency trading accounted for 49 percent of June’s daily trading volume of about 7.61 billion shares, according to TABB Group. During the peak levels of high-frequency trading in 2009, about 61 percent of 9.8 billion of average daily shares traded were executed by high-frequency traders.
Gold futures for August delivery settled up $18.40 at $1,339.00 an ounce.
—Reuters contributed to this report.
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