Wall Street closed a choppy trading week on Friday with a mixed finish for major stock indexes, although the S&P 500 made its first weekly gain in three weeks.
The benchmark index rose 0.1% after spending much of the day swinging between small gains and losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also posted a gain of 0.1%, while the Nasdaq composite and the Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks fell.
Slightly more S&P 500 stocks rose than they fell, with communications companies and banks accounting for much of the rise. Health care and real estate stocks posted some of the biggest losses. The index finished with a gain of 0.5% for the week.
This modest performance follows a two-day rally that erased a slump earlier in the week. Investors faced similar turbulence throughout September as they tried to assess how the economy will continue to recover.
“Today the market was sort of catching its breath after the sharp decline in the first two days of the week and strong gains 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 less than 1.9% of the all-time high it hit on September 2. The Dow added 33.18 points to 34,798. The Nasdaq lost 4.54 points, or less than 0.1%, to 15,047.70, while the Russell 2000 lost 10.97 points, or 0, 5%, at 2,248.07.
Markets had a tough September and investors could be more restless as they face a mix of concerns, including COVID-19 and its lingering impact on the economy, as well as a slow market recovery employment.
Traders received clarification from the Federal Reserve this week. After its two-day policy meeting closed on Wednesday, the central bank said it would likely start slashing the pace of its monthly bond purchases soon, but not until November, if the economy continues to improve. The Fed and other central banks bought bonds throughout the pandemic to help keep long-term interest rates low.
Bond yields have risen in recent days after the Fed’s announcement. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.46% on Friday against 1.41% the day before. The yield, which influences interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, was 1.31% Monday night.
“It could just be that we had lower yields on Monday and Tuesday in a flight to safety that is now being unwound,” Stovall said. “At the same time, bond investors have been told, if you will, by the Fed that the cut is imminent.”
Energy prices rose further on Friday. The benchmark US crude oil price rose 0.9% and ended up 2.9% for the week. The trend has helped push energy stocks up. Cabot Oil & Gas increased 2.8%.
Nike was the last company to warn investors about supply chain issues that hurt revenue. Its stock fell 6.3% for the biggest decline in the S&P 500. A wide range of industries are facing supply chain issues and investors are worried about rising costs for businesses and consumers. consumers. Analysts have warned that the next round of corporate earnings could be in jeopardy due to the issues.
Concerns over struggling Chinese real estate developer Evergrande are also weighing on sentiment. Some Chinese banks on Friday revealed what they were owed by Evergrande, seeking to allay fears of financial turmoil as it grapples with debt of less than $ 310 billion. Evergrande 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 due Thursday on an overseas bond.
European markets fell and Asian markets were mostly down, although the Japanese Nikkei 225 rose 2.1%.
Cryptocurrencies plummeted after China’s central bank declared all transactions involving virtual currencies illegal as it stepped up a campaign to block the use of unofficial digital currency. Bitcoin fell 4.8% to $ 42,525.48, according to Coindesk. Chipmaker Nvidia, which makes the processors needed for crypto-mining, fell 1.8%.
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