S&P 500 on Track to Record Best June Since 1955

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With one day left, the month is shaping up to be the best June for the S&P 500 in more than 60 years. It’s been a roller coaster ride on the way there.

The index has climbed 6.3% in June, according to Refinitiv. That’s the S&P 500’s best month since January — it is also the best June since 1955, when the index climbed 8.23%.

The S&P 500 even set a record closing high on June 20. It is up 3.2% in the quarter, and 17% for the year.

The Dow, meanwhile, has failed to set a closing record in June. But it is up 6.9% for the month, putting it on track for its best gain since January. The Dow is up 14% in 2019.

The Nasdaq Composite is also set to have its best month since January, and is up 6.9% so far this month. The Nasdaq is 20% higher in 2019.

On Friday, the Dow opened higher buoyed by high hopes for progress on the trade front. The Dow climbed 0.3%, or 82 points, at the opening bell. The S&P 500 rose 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.3%.

Stocks rose in June on hopes that the Federal Reserve will soon cut interest rates to boost the economy. The strong rally has outweighed a few bad days caused by geopolitical and trade worries.

At the start of the month, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell professed his commitment to sustaining economic growth in the United States. The market took that to mean rate cuts are on the horizon — stocks soared in the aftermath of those comments. Lower interest rates typically juice stocks and make it cheaper for companies to borrow money.

The Fed indicated last week that it would cut rates, albeit with somewhat more cautious phrasing. Still, investors are confident that such a move is coming: Expectations for a rate cut in July are at 100%, according to the CME FedWatch tool.

It wasn’t a seamless way to the top for stocks, though.

On June 25, the Dow and the S&P recorded their worst one-day percentage drop in nearly a month.

Tensions between the United States and Iran flared up, after Tehran shot down a US military drone. Iran said the drone entered the country’s territory, while the United States said the incident happened over international airspace. That led to worries about a potential military conflict.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, dropped his threat of tariffs on Mexico earlier this month. But the United States’ trade war with China is ongoing. Trump and China President Xi Jinping are set to meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit, which has kicked off in Japan. Investors hope the meeting will bring about the next phase of negotiations.

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