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Stocks Finish Friday Mostly Higher     06/22 16:05

   Oil prices and energy companies rallied Friday after OPEC said it will 
produce more oil, but not as much as investors feared. While trade tensions 
remained in the headlines, U.S. stocks finished slightly higher at the end of a 
bumpy week.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- Oil prices and energy companies rallied Friday after OPEC 
said it will produce more oil, but not as much as investors feared. While trade 
tensions remained in the headlines, U.S. stocks finished slightly higher at the 
end of a bumpy week.

   U.S. crude futures jumped 4.6 percent after OPEC nations agreed to produce 
about 1 million additional barrels of oil per day. Investors have expected an 
increase in production for weeks and many of them thought a bigger boost was 
coming, which would have sent prices lower. Health care and household goods 
companies also rose while technology companies and banks fell. The Dow Jones 
Industrial Average broke an eight-day losing streak.

   While prices usually go down when oil production rises, investors thought 
OPEC might take a bigger step based on reports over the last few weeks.

   "People were pricing crude in the last couple of weeks (expecting) a bigger 
increase by OPEC than what they agreed to," said Jim Paulsen, chief investment 
strategist for the Leuthold Group.

   The European Union followed through on its promise to put import taxes on 
$3.4 billion in U.S. goods including bourbon, peanut butter and orange juice in 
response to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum. Automakers were jolted after 
President Donald Trump threatened to put a 20 percent tax on cars imported from 
Europe, although none of them took big losses.

   The S&P 500 index added 5.12 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,754.88. The Dow 
gained 119.19 points, or 0.5 percent, to 24,580.89. The Dow lost 2 percent this 
week, with Boeing off 5.3 percent and Caterpillar down 6.7 percent. That was 
both companies' biggest loss in three months. Makers of chemicals and other 
basic materials like 3M also lost ground this week and technology companies 
slipped.

   The Nasdaq composite fell 20.13 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,692.82. The 
Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks sank 3.37 points, or 0.2 percent, 
to 1,685.58.

   U.S. crude climbed 4.6 percent to $68.58 a barrel in New York. That was its 
biggest one-day gain since November 2016, when OPEC and a group of other 
countries including Russia agreed to cut production by 1.8 million barrels a 
day. Prices have been rising since then, and U.S. crude hit a three-year high 
of about $72 a barrel in May.

   Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, rose 3.4 percent to 
$75.55 a barrel in London.

   Exxon Mobil picked up 2.1 percent to $81.38 and Marathon Oil surged 7.8 
percent to $21.48.

   The European Union is enforcing tariffs on $3.4 billion in U.S. products in 
retaliation for duties the Trump administration has put on European steel and 
aluminum. The taxes are on American products including bourbon, peanut butter 
and orange juice, and the choices appear designed to create political pressure 
on Trump and senior U.S. politicians.

   EU authorities had said the move was coming in response to the U.S. import 
duties. On Twitter, Trump threatened to impose a 20 percent tax on cars 
imported from the EU if barriers to trade are not removed soon. He previously 
ordered the U.S. Trade Representative to look into possible tariffs or quotas 
on imported cars and car parts.

   That jolted car companies. In Germany, shares of BMW lost 1.1 percent and 
Daimler sank 0.3 percent. Daimler fell more than 4 percent Thursday after it 
said Chinese tariffs on U.S. cars would contribute to a decline in its earnings 
this year. Ford and Toyota also dipped while Peugeot and General Motors rose.

   "If you're in the direct line of fire from a tariff, it's hugely important," 
said Paulsen. Still, he said investors are very skeptical that a damaging trade 
war will break out. "The trade war has heated up over the last couple of months 
and yet stocks are up over that period of time," he said. That was also the 
case Friday.

   Open source software maker Red Hat dropped 12.4 percent to $142.14 after it 
cut its sales forecasts due to the strengthening dollar. Other technology 
companies also declined. The industry has been leading the market for more than 
a year, but it makes more of its sales outside the U.S. than any other major 
S&P 500 sector. Micron Technology fell 3.9 percent to $57.10 and Nvidia lost 
2.4 percent to $250.95.

   In other commodity trading, wholesale gasoline jumped 2.9 percent to $2.07 a 
gallon. Heating oil added 2.7 percent to $2.13 a gallon. Natural gas skidded 1 
percent to $2.95 per 1,000 cubic feet.

   Gold slid 0.3 percent to $1,270.70 an ounce. Silver added 0.8 percent to 
$16.46 an ounce. Copper edged up 0.2 percent to $3.03 a pound.

   Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note 
stayed at 2.90 percent.

   The dollar rose to 109.91 yen from 109.90 yen. The euro advanced to $1.1663 
from $1.1617.

   The CAC 40 in France climbed 1.3 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 gained 1.7 
percent. In Germany the DAX rose 0.5 percent.

   Some Asian markets gained following heavy losses on previous days but 
finished lower than a week ago. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index edged up 0.2 
percent while Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 0.8 percent. The South Korean Kospi 
advanced 0.8 percent.


(BE)

 
 
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