US stocks close with gains to start 2nd half on higher note

The US stock market closed with gains on Friday to begin the second half of the year on a higher note after indices posted major losses in the first half. 

The Dow Jones jumped 321 points, or 1.05% to close at 31,097. The blue-chip index lost 15.3% in the January-June period of this year.

The S&P rose almost 40 points, or 1.06%, to end the day at 3,825, after diving 20% in the first six months of the year and posting its worst half since 1970.

The Nasdaq increased 99 points, or 0.9%, to 11,127. The tech-heavy index plummeted 29.5% in the first half.

The VIX volatility index, also known as the fear index, dove 7% to 26.70. The 10-year US Treasury yield fell 2.8% to 2.889%.

The dollar index, on the other hand, rose 0.42% to 105.13.

Precious metals were mixed with gold adding less than 0.1% to $1,807, but silver falling 2% to $19.87.

Crude prices were up more than 2%. Global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading at $111.43 for a 2.2% gain, while US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $108.40 – up 2.5%./agencies