Dow, S&P close out May at record highs

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 30, 2014 at 4:13 pm •  Published: May 30, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market closed out May mostly higher Friday, sending two out of the three major U.S. indexes to record highs.

Trading was uneven, and indexes moved between small gains and losses for most of the day. A late push higher left the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 at all-time highs, but just barely.

May was the best month for investors since February. The S&P rose 2.1 percent for the month, while the Dow rose 0.8 percent and the Nasdaq rose 3.1 percent.

"This market may have been choppy earlier in the year, but the trend is higher," said Karyn Cavanaugh, a market strategist with Voya Investment Management, formerly known as ING Investment Management.

The Dow rose 18.43 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 16,717.17, less than two points above its previous record high set on May 13.

The S&P 500 index rose 3.54 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,923.57, also closing at a record. The only index to fall was the Nasdaq composite, which ended down 5.33 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,242.62.

On Friday, investors had two somewhat disappointing reports on the U.S. consumer.

The Commerce Department said consumer spending unexpectedly fell 0.1 percent in April, the first drop in that indicator in a year. Economists expect the drop to be temporary, however. Consumer spending jumped 1 percent in March.

"It is obvious that after an unseasonably colder January and February, consumers came out with a vengeance in March," Chris Christopher, an economist at IHS Global Insight, wrote in a note to clients. "So, April's poor showing on the spending front is payback for a strong March."

In a separate report, the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index fell more than analysts were expecting. The index slipped to 81.9 in May from 84.9 in April. Economists had expected 82.8.