Two Indices Set For Gains As Q2 Closes

Two Indices Set For Gains As Q2 Closes

Two of the three main US stock indices were set to mark quarterly gains on Monday, the final day of the first half of 2014, as all eyes fell on economic data regarding business activity and home sales. 

Two Indices Set For Gains As Q2 Closes
Two Indices Set For Gains As Q2 Closes

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were poised to mark a sixth consecutive quarter of gains, a bullish trend that has not occurred since 2008. Additional economic data is set for release later this week, ahead of markets' closure for Independence Day. But Iraq is also in focus amid warring sides' struggles in the Middle Eastern nation.

Just after 10 a.m. in New York, the Nasdaq slightly gained 0.16%, a climb of 7 points to 4,404.82; the S&P 500 rose 0.04%, a lift of 0.79 points to 1,961.57; and the Dow edged down 0.08%, a loss of 13.15 points to 16,838.69.

Equities mark long bullish thrust
Equities were driving toward their lengthiest run of quarterly advances in 16 years on Monday, according to Bloomberg. Analysts and economists polled by Bloomberg forecast an increase in pending homes sales, a metric distributed by the National Association of Realtors. In May, the index likely climbed 1.2% after rising only 0.4% during the month prior.

The Institute for Supply Management is set to release its business barometer for metropolitan Chicago on Monday. A survey administered by Bloomberg indicated the index slightly slipped after checking in at 65.5 last month. Yet the forecast suggests the metric remained higher than 50, which demonstrates expansion and development.

Militants declare caliphate
Sunni Islamic militants are progressively capturing large parcels of land in Iraq and Syria, The Washington Post reports. A spokesman announced the re-establishment of an Islamic caliphate from the 7th Century. The group also named a supreme leader, who is an Iraqi named Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Muslims throughout the world must demonstrate reverence to him, the spokesman said. The declaration is likely at odds with the rule of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the top leader of al-Qaeda.

That demonstrates an internal power struggle that one analyst termed "a threat to the legitimacy of al-Qaeda", according to The Washington Post.

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