US stocks close mostly down, best first half performance in 15 years
US stocks were mostly down Friday, however spirits were high in New York as indices finished the first half of the year with their best results since 1998. The record breaking first half was driven by quantitative easing programs from many of the worlds largest central banks, most notably the Federal Reserve which has been the focal point of trading over the last month.
Concerns that the US central bank would withdraw their $85bn a month stimulus package has been rife of late, with the Federal Reserve hinting that it may begin tapering on May 22nd and then confirming it officially earlier this month after their two day policy meeting. This lead the indices in America, and indeed the rest of the world, to fall quite significantly throughout the month. However markets seem to have remained fairly bullish as all US indices posted gains for the second quarter.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 0.8%, while the broader S&P 500 slid 0.4%. The technology heavy NASDAQ was little changed but remained on the right side of the track with a slight advance of 0.04%.
For the month of June all indices in across the Atlantic were down, with the DJIA being the least affected with a decline of 1.4% at the bell. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 slid by 1.5%, a decline that was matched by the NASDAQ. After narrowly avoiding declines for the month of May last month, the S&P 500 and NASDAQ snapped their win streaks which dated back to late 2012.