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US stocks end week on record high with some future concerns

Two of New York's main indices made modest gains on Friday to close the week at new all-time highs. Financial stocks and retail spending declined while the president's office warned of a higher budget deficit.

The Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500 index, Dow Jones industrial average and Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks set records by the close of trade in New York on Friday on a third straight day of gains.

The S&P 500 index gained 11.44 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,459.27. The Dow rose 84.65 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 21,637.74.

About 5.3 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges, compared with the 6.7 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

For the week, the S&P 500 was up 1.4 percent, the Dow rose 1.1 percent and the Nasdaq of mainly technology stocks was up 2.6 percent.

Financial stocks and retail slip

Financial stocks were the only sector in the S&P 500 to end lower on Friday, partly on news from JPMorgan, the nation's largest bank by assets, that it expected weaker net interest income, rising by $4 billion rather than $4.5 billion this year. JPMorgan's stock dropped 1.1 percent to $92.05.

The ICE US Dollar Index, comparing the dollar to a basket of major currencies, declined to its lowest level since September and the dollar weakened against the euro to $1.1467.

The US Commerce Department said retail sales fell 0.2 percent in June as spending at restaurants, department stores and gasoline stations was held back by consumers.

Futures trading on US interest rates also cooled in the face of the data, with investors now less expectant of a further rate increase between now and December.

Earlier in the week, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said future interest rate hikes could be gradual in the face of persistently low inflation.

Higher budget deficit

The president's Office of Management and Budget (OMB), reported on Friday the budget deficit for President Donald Trump's first two years in office would be nearly $250 billion higher than first estimated. The cause was a shortfall in tax collections and a mistake in projecting military healthcare costs. OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said the bulk of the problem this year and next stemmed from lower-than-expected tax collections.

Indexes in Europe finished mostly lower Friday as Germany's DAX fell 0.1 percent and London's FTSE 100 index of leading British shares slid 0.5 percent. France's CAC 40 was flat.

The price of US crude oil rose more than 5.2 percent for the week while Brent rose more than 4.7 percent boosted by reports of increased demand and reduced crude stocks in the US.

jm/msh (Reuters, AP)

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