US Stocks Close Mixed; S&P 500 Rises 09/24 16:04
Wall street closed out a choppy week of trading Friday with a mixed finish
for the major stock indexes, though the S&P 500 managed its first weekly gain
in three weeks.
(AP) -- Wall street closed out a choppy week of trading Friday with a mixed
finish for the major stock indexes, though the S&P 500 managed its first weekly
gain in three weeks.
The benchmark index rose 0.1% after spending much of the day wavering
between small gains and losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also eked out
a 0.1% gain, while the Nasdaq composite and the Russell 2000 index of
small-company stocks fell.
Slightly more stocks in the S&P 500 rose than fell, with communication
services companies and banks driving much of the increase. Health care and real
estate stocks posted some of the biggest losses. The index ended with a 0.5%
gain for the week.
The modest showing followed a two-day rally that helped erase a slump
earlier in the week. Investors have been facing similar choppiness throughout
September as they try to gauge how the economy will continue its recovery.
"The market today was sort of catching its breath after the sharp slump in
the first two days of the week and the sharp advance in the second two days of
the week," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.
The S&P 500 rose 6.50 points to 4,455.48 and is now within 1.9% of the
all-time high it set Sept. 2. The Dow added 33.18 points to 34,798. The Nasdaq
slipped 4.54 points, or less than 0.1%, to 15,047.70, while the Russell 2000
dropped 10.97 points, or 0.5%, to 2,248.07.
Markets have had a rough September and investors could be in for more
choppiness as they work through a mix of concerns, including COVID-19 and its
lingering impact on the economy, along with a slow recovery for the employment
Traders did receive some clarity from the Federal Reserve this week. After
its two-day policy meeting concluded Wednesday, the central bank said it will
likely begin tapering the pace of its monthly bond purchases soon, but not
before November, if the economy keeps improving. The Fed and other central
banks have been buying bonds throughout the pandemic to help keep long-term
interest rates low.
Bond yields have been headed higher the last couple of days following the
Fed's announcement. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.46% Friday from
1.41% the day before. The yield, which influences interest rates on mortgages
and other consumer loans, was at 1.31% late Monday.
"It could simply be that we had yields come down Monday and Tuesday in a
flight to safety that is now being unwound," Stovall said. "At the same time,
bond investors have been given the clue, if you will, by the Fed, that tapering
is right around the corner."
Energy prices rose again Friday. The price of benchmark U.S. crude oil
increased 0.9% and ended 2.9% higher for the week. The trend helped push up
energy stocks. Cabot Oil & Gas rose 2.8%.
Nike was the latest company to warn investors about supply chain problems
hurting revenue. Its stock slumped 6.3% for the biggest drop in the S&P 500. A
wide range of industries face supply chain issues and that has investors
worried about rising costs for businesses and consumers. Analysts have warned
that the upcoming round of corporate earnings could be crimped because of those
Worries over troubled Chinese real estate developer Evergrande are also
weighing on sentiment. Some Chinese banks on Friday disclosed what they are
owed by Evergrande, seeking to dispel fears of financial turmoil as it
struggles under $310 billion in debt. Evergrande has said it negotiated details
of an interest payment due Thursday to banks and other bondholders in China but
gave no details. The company has yet to say whether it will make an $83.5
million payment that was due Thursday on a bond abroad.
Markets in Europe fell and markets in Asia were mostly lower, though Japan's
Nikkei 225 rose 2.1%.
Cryptocurrencies fell after China's central bank declared all transactions
involving virtual currencies illegal as it stepped up a campaign to block use
of unofficial digital money. Bitcoin fell 4.8% to $42,525.48, according to
Coindesk. Chipmaker Nvidia, which makes processors needed in crypto-mining,