wall street
Stocks end the week on a record high

U.S. stocks rose Friday, with the Dow industrial average and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index closing at records, after the May payrolls report provided the latest confirmation of improving economic conditions.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Market’s Volatility Index (VIX), Wall Street’s so-called fear gauge, ended down 8.1 percent at 10.73, its lowest level since February 2007. The VIX, which tends to rise when volatility increases or the market drops, has been on the decline for months and is well below its historical average of 20, which some see as a sign that investors are ignoring concerns that could derail the rally.

The day’s gains were broad and led by cyclical sectors, which outperform in times of economic expansion. Industrial shares jumped 1 percent while energy shares rose 0.8 percent. The only S&P sector that fell was health care, a defensive group, down 0.1 percent.

The Dow rose 88.17 points or 0.52 percent, to 16,924.28; the S&P gained 8.98 points or 0.46 percent, to 1949.44; and the Nasdaq Composite added 25.17 points or 0.59 percent, to 4321.40.

With the day’s gains, the S&P marked its sixth record close in the past seven sessions.

For the week, the Dow rose 1.2 percent; the S&P, 1.3 percent; and the Nasdaq, 1.9 percent.

— Reuters

SEC sues brokerage and dark pool firm

Securities regulators filed civil lawsuits Friday against a private trading platform and a major brokerage firm, citing both cases as part of an agency crackdown on violations of core equity market structure rules.

In the first case, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged New York-based trading platform Liquidnet with improperly using its subscribers’ confidential trading information to market its services. The company is paying a $2 million penalty to settle the charges without admitting or denying them. Liquidnet is a so-called dark pool operator. Dark pools are alternative trading systems that match buyers and sellers without publishing quotes. They compete with exchanges but are less transparent.

In the second case, the SEC charged Los Angeles-based brokerage firm Wedbush Securities and a current worker and a former employee with a slew of violations, stemming from allegedly giving anonymous foreign traders access to the U.S. equities markets without having proper risk controls in place.

“Both of these cases involve enforcement actions of rules designed to ensure that investors receive the protection that they expect and deserve in the context of the current equity market structure,” SEC Enforcement Director Andrew Ceresney told reporters Friday.

— Reuters

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— From news services