US stocks close at a record
• For all the talk about inflated equity prices, a peak in earnings growth and the spread of a highly infectious coronavirus strain, US stocks managed to close at another record.
• All three US indices posted their fifth consecutive quarterly gains, with the S&P rising 8.2%, the Nasdaq advancing 9.5% and the Dow rising 4.6%. The S&P 500 registered its second-best first-half performance since 1998, rising 14.5%. For the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.61%, to 34,502.51, the S&P 500 gained 0.13%, to 4,297.5 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.17%, to 14,503.95 in thin trading.
• Performance in Asian markets were mixed. The Straits Times Index (STI) ended June at up 1.33%, at 3,130.46. That is a total return of 11.8% for the first six months of the year, compared with a 13.8% total return in the first half of 2017. The Shanghai composite was up 0.50% to close at 3,591.20, while the Shenzhen component jumped 1.08% to 15,161.70.