Stocks ended a busy week with a 55 point gain at 24,271. Trading volume was low. Energy and banks stocks were leaders today. For the week, the Dow was down about 1% and for the month of June was off about 0.3%. So far this year the Dow is sitting on a 2% decline thanks to a fall in GE and a recent pullback in financials. The S&P 500 index is up 1.6% year to date and the NASDAQ is up 8.7% because everyone loves Amazon and Netflix.
Bank stress test results were finalized yesterday and due to strong results, the Federal Reserve allowed several big banks to buy back shares and increase cash dividends. Leading the charge, Citigroup increased its dividend by 41% as did JP Morgan Chase. Bank of America upped its dividend by 25% and US bank pushed its quarterly payout up by 23%. In total, banks subject to the stress test are returning an estimated $170 billion in cold hard cash to shareholders.
Nike shares shot higher after a strong earnings report. The Winged goddess posted a 13% increase in revenue and a 15% gain in profits. The results were well above expectations due largely to a return of growth in North American sales as well as rising margins and a 10% gain in sales across Europe. The company also said it would buy back $15 billion worth of stock and was optimistic going forward.