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Stocks rise amid renewed economic optimism

U.S. equities rose in the holiday-shortened week to close at all-time records on renewed economic optimism.

The S&P 500 edged 0.4 percent higher in the four-day period to 4,369, the highest ever for the benchmark. All but two of the major sectors rose, with real estate, materials and industrials leading the way higher. The index’s best performer, Oracle Corp., climbed 5.6 percent in the week following news that the Pentagon would meet with the software maker about eligibility for its government cloud contract. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2 percent while the Nasdaq rose 0.4 percent as both closed at records.

The decline in 10-year Treasury yields, which fell briefly on Wednesday to the lowest since February, were driven by growing fears that the spread of coronavirus variants will upend growth expectations. But Treasuries snapped an eight-day rally on Friday, one day after JPMorgan Asset Management, BlackRock Inc. and Morgan Stanley Wealth Management all said that the global recovery is still on track.

“It’s just been growth, growth, growth,” said Sandi Bragar, managing director at Los Angeles-based wealth management firm Aspiriant. “That’s carried the market and now we’re just seeing a bunch of different forces and a lot of uncertainty about what’s going to happen economically.”

Initial jobless claims of 373,000 were slightly higher than expected but remained close to a pandemic low as the labor market grinds its way toward a full recovery. Data on consumer and producer prices next week will be scrutinized for signs of inflation. Earnings season will kick off Tuesday with second-quarter results from JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

The Treasury will sell 13-week and 26-week bills on July 12 with both yielding 0.05 percent in when-issued trading. That same day, the government will also auction three-year and 10-year notes. On July 13, it will offer 30-year bonds, 42-day cash management bills and 52-week bills. On July 15, Treasury plans to sell four-week and eight-week bills.

— Bloomberg News