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US: Stocks fluctuate after longest winning streak in 4 mths


[WASHINGTON] US stocks fluctuated after trimming an early advance, as investors weighed data and assessed the potential for further gains with equities at a record and corporate earnings projected to drop for a fifth quarter.

The S&P 500 gained 0.1 per cent to 2,165.15 at 10.34 am in New York, rising for a sixth straight session. The gauge is also on track for the longest streak of consecutive records since 2014. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 28.63 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 18,535.04. The Nasdaq Composite Index was little changed.

"Overall if we can come out of today even flat then it's been a fantastic week," Mark Kepner, a managing director and equity trader at Themis Trading LLC in Chatham, New Jersey, said by phone. "We're starting to focus on economic numbers and earnings which is what we were doing before Brexit, and that's good."

Stocks are heading for a third week of gains as investors overcome concerns about the UK's vote to leave the European Union amid speculation the Fed will refrain from raising interest rates this year while other central banks take steps to limit the Brexit fallout. Still, money managers including BlackRock Inc's chief Laurence D Fink say the rally may not be justified and won't last unless earnings pick up.

"Markets have gone beyond their expected altitude," said Peter Dixon, global equities economist at Commerzbank AG in London. "If we do get some decent earnings from banks, that might drive the markets a bit higher, but I suspect it could be a good trigger for people to think about taking some profit."

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