Stocks End First Half of 2021 With Sizable Wins

Only the S&P 500 and Nasdaq finished with June wins

Deputy Editor
Jun 30, 2021 at 4:38 PM
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In what feels like the blink of an eye, the first half of 2021 has already come to a close, with all three major indexes locking in substantial growth so far this year. The Dow and Nasdaq have each added over 12% during the last six months, while the S&P 500 logged a roughly 14% return for the first two quarters -- its best first half of the year since 2019. All three major indexes also posted sizable quarterly wins -- their fifth straight --but only the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were able to secure monthly wins in June.

For today, markets were mixed as investors weighed upbeat employment and home sales data against bubbling fears of a global Covid-19 resurgence. The Dow settled with a 210-point pop, while the S&P 500 just barely eked out its fifth-straight record high. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, turned slightly lower. 

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

  • Signals say bet on a bounce from Tractor Supply stock.  
  • Micron stock snagged a bull note before earnings tonight. 
  • Plus, a casino stock enjoying eased travel restrictions; why this drug stock could be a buy; and BBBY's earnings beat. 

The Dow Jones Average (DJI - 34,502.51) gained 210.2 points, or 0.6% for the day. Of the 30 Dow components, Walmart (WMT) saw the biggest jump, adding 2.7%, while Intel (INTC) fell to the bottom, shedding 1.1%. For the month, the index lost 0.1%, but gained 4.6% during the quarter and 12.7% for the first half of the year. 

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 4,297.50) rose 5.70 points, or 0.1% on the day. It rose 2.2% for the month, 8.2% for the quarter, and 14.4% in the past six months. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 14,503.95) lost 24.4 points, or 0.2% for the day. It saw a 5.5% rise in June, a 9.5% pop for the second quarter, and a 12.6% win for the first half of the year. 

Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 15.83) added 0.2 point, or 1.2%. For the month it lost 5.6%, for the quarter it dropped 18.4%, and for the year so far it's off 30.4%. 

Closing Index Summary June 30

NYSE and Nasdaq Stat June 30

  1. Biometric screening company Clear Secure (YOU) just debuted on Wall Street, trading at $38.55 per share, which is higher than the stock's initial public offering (IPO) price of  $31 per share. (CNBC)
  2. Royal Caribbean Group (RCL) said it will require proof of vaccination from travelers departing from all of its ports, excluding Florida, in accordance with the state's mandate. (MarketWatch)
  3. Easing travel restrictions are giving Las Vegas Sands stock a big boost. 
  4. Why BMY could be a smart potential growth play
  5. The meme stock scaling the Nasdaq after an earnings beat-and-raise. 

Earnings June 30

Unusual Options Activity June 30

Decline in U.S. Crude Inventories Pushes Oil Prices Higher

Oil prices continued to move higher, buoyed by a sixth-straight weekly dip in U.S. crude inventories, as investors look ahead toward the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies (OPEC+) decision on further easing output curbs next month. As a result, August-dated crude gained 49 cents, or 0.7%, to settle at $73.47 per barrel. 

Gold prices rose for the day and current quarter, though the precious metal suffered a loss for the first half of the year, as well as its worst month in over four years.  August-dated gold added $7.90, or 0.5% for the day, to settle at $1,771.60 an ounce. 

Trader: Sell These 8 Stocks in 2021

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