S&P 500 notches 3rd straight weekly gain after wobbly day
Wall Street finished a milestone-setting week on a downbeat note Friday after a late flurry of selling nudged stocks lower, ending the market’s four-day winning streak.
Even with the modest losses the market delivered its third straight weekly gain, with the benchmark S&P 500 index hovering just below its record high close from a day earlier.
That milestone, which eclipsed the benchmark index’s last record close on April 30, came amid a swift turnaround for stocks this month that has erased the losses from a steep sell-off in May.
The major U.S. stock indexes are up more than 7% so far this month and are holding on to gains of more than 14% for the year.
Investors have been reassured by statements from the Federal Reserve this month that suggest the central bank is prepared to cut interest rates in response to a slowing global economy. At the same time, traders remain concerned that corporate profits might suffer should the kind of economic slowdown that would prompt the Fed to cut rates take hold.
A mixed batch of economic data on Friday didn’t have much of an impact on trading, which remained mostly muted as investors took a breather after a four-day rally.
“Some of the information we’ve gotten today hasn’t been all that impactful to kind of change the price action we saw this week,” said Ioana Martin, global investment specialist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank.
The S&P 500 index dipped 3.72 points, or 0.1%, to 2,950.46. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 34.04 points, or 0.1%, to 26,719.13. The Nasdaq composite fell 19.63 points, or 0.2%, to 8,031.71.
Smaller company stocks fared worse than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 index slumped 13.87 points, or 0.9%, to 1,549.63.
Major indexes in Europe fell.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.06% from 2% on Thursday.
Trading was wobbly for much of Friday as investors sized up a mixed batch of economic data. A report on manufacturing for June came in below analysts’ forecasts. A separate report was more encouraging, indicating that sales of previously occupied U.S. homes increased in May.
The modest dip cut into some of the market’s gains from Thursday, but did little to dent the Wall Street’s June rally.
All told, the S&P 500 is up 17.7% this year, while the Dow is up 14.5%. The Nasdaq, which his heavily weighted with technology stocks, is up 21.1% for the year. The Russell 2000 is up 14.9%.
The biggest uncertainty looming over the market remains the U.S. trade war with China. Stocks opened the week higher and rallied since then after President Donald Trump said he planned to meet with China’s president next week at the G20 summit in Japan to discuss their ongoing trade conflict.
Both nations’ leaders have lately signaled a willingness to resolve the dispute and are meeting next week for talks.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve has signaled that it is willing to cut interest rates to stabilize the U.S. economy if the trade dispute crimps growth. That’s helped drive the market’s rebound in June.
“At this point it’s not so much a question about whether the Fed is going to be accommodative or not, it’s just what that magnitude is going to be,” Martin said.
Looking ahead, next week’s G20 summit is likely to be the next big market mover, Martin said.
“That hopefully gives us a little bit more color on the trade situation,” she said.
Technology stocks took some of the heaviest losses Friday, with chipmakers leading the way. Micron Technology dropped 2.6% and Advanced Micro Devices lost 3%.
Industrial stocks also fell. Snap-on dropped 3.7%.
Health care stocks notched solid gains. Humana climbed 4.4%, while UnitedHealth Group added 1.8%.
Communications stocks also rose, with video game publisher Electronic Arts leading the way. The stock gained 2.3%.
Energy stocks climbed for the second day in a row along with the price of crude oil. Baker Hughes gained 3.3% and Valero Energy added 2.7%.
Benchmark crude oil rose 0.6% to settle at $57.43 a barrel. It ended with a 9.2% gain for the week. That’s the biggest weekly gain in more than two years. Only a few weeks ago, the price of U.S. crude was in a correction, what Wall Street calls a drop of at least 20% from a recent peak.
Brent crude oil, the international standard, rose 1.2% to close at $65.20 a barrel.
Used car retailer CarMax rose 3.2% after it blew past Wall Street’s fiscal first quarter profit and revenue forecasts.
Staffing company Korn Ferry plunged 17.5% after reporting weak revenue during its fiscal fourth quarter and issuing a profit forecast that mostly fell short of analysts’ expectations.
In other commodities trading, wholesale gasoline rose 3.9% to $1.86 per gallon. Heating oil climbed 1.7% to $1.92 per gallon. Natural gas was little changed at $2.19 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gold edged up 0.2% to $1,400.10 per ounce, silver fell 1.3% to $15.29 per ounce and copper fell 0.3% to $2.70 per pound.
The dollar rose to 107.41 Japanese yen from 107.27 yen on Thursday. The euro rose to $1.1369 from $1.1295.