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Modest gains push US stocks indexes

Modest gains push US stocks indexes

July 15th, 2017 by the Associated Press in Business

FILE - This Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016 file photo shows the New York Stock Exchange. U.S. stocks edged higher in early trading Friday, July 14, 2017 as investors sized up quarterly results from JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and other big banks. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Gains by big technology and health care companies pushed U.S. stocks modestly higher Friday, lifting several major indexes to new highs.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index, Dow Jones industrial average and Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks each set records as the market posted its third straight day of gains.

Energy companies helped lift the market as crude oil prices rose. High-dividend stocks like real estate companies and utilities also posted big gains following a drop in bond yields. The lower yields and a weak forecast from JPMorgan Chase weighed on banks. Financial stocks were the only sector in the S&P 500 to end lower.

Investors brushed off a report showing U.S. retail sales declined in June and drew encouragement from data indicating industrial production rebounded last month. Traders also welcomed a report showing inflation at the consumer level was flat in June, which suggests that the Federal Reserve may have more reason to delay another interest rate increase.