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Nationwide Unrest Fails to Faze Markets

Nationwide Unrest Fails to Faze Markets

Investors kept their horse blinders on Monday as improving economic data outweighed several other sources of concern. Specifically, the ISM manufacturing index, which hit an 11-year nadir of 41.5 in April, improved to a 43.1 reading in May that shows activity is still contracting, but at a slower pace. Nationwide protests grew in number and intensity over the weekend but did little to blunt market optimism today. Neither did China's pending pause of U.S. farm purchases, potentially threatening the countries' trade deal. The Dow improved by 0.4% to 25,475, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed 0.7% higher to 9,552.

That's not to say U.S. corporate leaders are ignoring the protests, however. Alphabet (GOOGL) CEO Sundar Pichai, for instance, started internally collecting donations for organizations battling racial injustice. Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook wrote a powerful memo to employees and said the company would donate to the Equal Justice Initiative and other groups. These are but a couple reflections of a corporate world that's increasingly attuned to environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues -- and investors are increasingly hungry for companies that try to "do right" by these various standards. That has spawned a wide swath of ESG-focused exchange-traded funds, but mutual fund investors have options, too. Here, we look at 15 ESG mutual funds and ETFs that allow investors to better apply their values to their portfolios -- and in a wide range of ways, from global stocks to small American companies to even bonds linked to ESG-friendly firms.

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