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US:Wall Street slightly higher as tech stocks recover


[WASHINGTON] US stocks were slightly up in early trading on Friday after tech stocks appeared to recover from a steep selloff and consumer spending data for May showed steady economic growth.

At 9.32 am ET the Dow Jones industrial average was up 96.23 points, or 0.45 per cent, at 21,383.26, the S&P 500 was up 10.15 points, or 0.42 per cent, at 2,429.85 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 17.31 points, or 0.28 per cent, at 6,161.66.

US consumer spending rose modestly in May and inflation cooled, pointing to a slow-but-steady economic expansion that could still lead the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by the end of the year.

The S&P 500 and the Dow recorded their worst daily percentage drop in about six weeks on Thursday as a recent decline in technology shares deepened and outweighed strength in bank shares. "It would not surprise me to have a lot of volatility, considering the financials were particularly strong yesterday and technology was particularly weak," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital LLC. "We have what appears to be some sector rotation going on, and its occurring at the end of the quarter and its adding to the volatility." Towards the end of the second quarter, the market witnessed a few volatile days. On Wednesday, the tech-heavy Nasdaq posted its best day since Nov. 7.

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Tech stocks, which have led the S&P 500's 8-per cent gain this year, pulled back recently as some investors questioned the sector's high valuations.

The remainder of 2017 looks likely to bring more of the same, said Brad McMillan, Chief Investment Officer for Commonwealth Financial Network. "More growth, more market appreciation and more normalization across the board. After the turmoil in recent months and years, this is not a bad place to be."

Oil prices climbed for the seventh straight session on Friday in their longest bull run since April, but were still set for the worst first-half performance since 1998.

The euro came off yearly highs on Friday but was still set for its strongest quarter in six years as investors piled into the currency on a brightening euro zone economy and its implications for monetary policy in the bloc.