U.S. stocks keep winning streak, sterling drops

Fri Jul 22, 2016 4:55pm EDT
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock prices rose on Friday, marking four straight weeks of gains, while sterling dropped on bleak data that raised fears about a possible British recession following the country's June 23 vote to leave the European Union.

Concerns about global oversupply hurt oil prices, increasing their weekly losses.

Bond and gold prices fell on expectations the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates by year-end following a recent batch of encouraging U.S. economic data.

"Earnings have been positive for the most part. You have a strong package of data that have been constructive on the equity market, pushing up bond yields and even taking some shine off gold's recent strong performance," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Newark, New Jersey-based Prudential Financial.

The U.S. S&P 500 and Dow equity indexes reversed earlier losses, edging toward record highs hit earlier this week, on renewed strength in the tech and telecom sectors and a stronger-than-expected report on manufacturing. The indexes had fallen earlier on disappointing news from companies including General Electric (GE.N: Quote) and Honeywell (HON.N: Quote).

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI closed up 53.62 points, or 0.29 percent, at 18,570.85, the S&P 500 .SPX ended 9.86 points, or 0.46 percent, higher at 2,175.03 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC finished up 26.26 points, or 0.52 percent, at 5,100.16.

For the week, the Dow was up 0.3 percent, S&P up 0.6 percent and Nasdaq up 1.4 percent.

Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 ended little changed at 1,344.11, paring earlier losses linked to lower mining shares and Swedish construction from Skanska (SKAb.ST: Quote).   Continued...

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., July 21, 2016.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid