By Sinead Carew
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes closed higher on Friday as investors shrugged off concerns about global trade tensions but trading volume was relatively light ahead of a busy week of central bank meetings.
The S&P 500 stayed in positive territory in the afternoon after reversing losses in the early afternoon with its biggest boosts coming from the health care and consumer staples sectors.
Investors appeared to put aside worries about U.S. relations with its biggest trading partners. G7 major nations started what was expected to be a tense meeting after U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada, the European Union and Mexico.
Expectations for any breakthroughs at the two-day meeting in La Malbaie, Quebec, were low. "It's highly unlikely there will be a final communique," a G7 official said on condition of anonymity.[nL2N1TA0IJ]
"There's a lot for investors to digest but when you parse through the noise there's still a lot of strength in the economy and that's what investors keep gravitating to," said Carol Schleif, Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Abbot Downing in Minneapolis.
Specifically investors were focused on expectations for strong growth among U.S. corporations, according to Katrina Lamb, head of investment strategy and research at MV Financial, in Bethesda, Maryland.
"The math looks really good in terms of the relation between price and earnings and sales," said Lamb. "This is a perfectly good time to be long the market."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 75.12 points, or 0.3 percent, to 25,316.53, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 8.61 points, or 0.31 percent, to 2,778.98 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 10.44 points, or 0.14 percent, to 7,645.51.
For the week, the S&P rose 1.62 percent while the Dow added 2.76 percent and the Nasdaq gained 1.21 percent.
The consumer staples index <.SPLRCS> was the biggest percentage gainer of the S&P's 11 major sectors, with a 1.3 percent advance. Its biggest drivers were Procter & Gamble which continued its rally from the previous day, rising 1.9 percent, and Philip Morris
The technology sector was barely positive with a 0.03 percent gain. Dragging on the sector was Apple Inc
In the quietest trading day since May 25, 6.05 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges on Friday, compared to the 6.6 billion average for the last 20 days.
The Federal Reserve is widely expected to announce an increase interest rates in its post-meeting statement on Wednesday and investors will be watching for signals from the U.S. central bank on its plans for the rest of the year.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.42-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.09-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
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