Tech sector pushes stocks higher; oil extends gain
Technology and consumer shares pushed U.S. stocks higher as investors assessed the latest batch of earnings reports and efforts to reopen the American economy. Oil gained after a week of wild price swings.
The S&P 500 gained 1.4% Friday, but still finished down 1.3% in a week that brought fresh evidence of deep damage to the American economy. In an optimistic sign, President Donald Trump signed a $484 billion spending package that includes more money for small businesses, the latest bid by lawmakers to rescue an economy devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.
"The stability and resilience of the market in the face of what is still horrific economic data is probably a function of an assumption or hope that the compression in earnings and the economy, although deep, won't be long lasting," said Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab. "The market is sort of looking through the valley."
Apple and Microsoft were the biggest percentage gainers in the tech sector of the benchmark index. Earnings continued to roll in, with Intel Corp. joining the ranks that have withdrawn full-year guidance. West Texas Intermediate crude futures hovered around $17 a barrel in New York, after collapsing earlier this week. Treasury yields fell and the dollar strengthened on the week.
In Europe, leaders signed off on a $580 billion (540 billion-euro) plan tackling the immediate fallout from the pandemic, but failed to come up with a longer-term rebuilding program. Stocks slumped and bonds rose. Data showed German business confidence fell to record low while virus cases in the region's biggest economy rose by the most in nearly a week.
A global stock rally built on optimism that infection rates were slowing faltered this week amid mounting evidence of a deep economic slowdown. With total job losses in the U.S. now exceeding 26 million, investors are focusing on effects of lockdowns and will study earnings for the effects of consumer-credit deterioration.
In China, there was limited reaction to the central bank's partial roll-over of maturing medium-term funding to banks, at a lower interest rate. Japanese bonds rallied after a Nikkei report that the Bank of Japan may replace its government bond-purchase target to allow for unlimited buying.
These were the main moves in markets:
The S&P 500 Index climbed 1.4% to 2,836.60 as of 4 p.m. EDT.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.1% to 23,771.36.
The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 1.6% to 8,634.52.
The MSCI All-Country World Index gained 0.2% to 472.66.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1% to 1,261.12, hitting the highest in two weeks with its fifth straight advance.
The Japanese yen strengthened 0.2% to 107.40 per dollar.
The euro increased 0.3% to $1.0809, the first advance in a week.
The British pound rose 0.2% to $1.2366.
The yield on two-year Treasurys decreased one basis point to 0.21%.
The yield on 10-year Treasurys decreased one basis point to 0.59%.
Britain's 10-year yield declined less than one basis point to 0.291%, the lowest in more than five weeks.
Germany's 10-year yield dipped five basis points to -0.47%.
West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 3.6% to $17.06 a barrel.
Brent crude rose 2.4% to $21.84 a barrel.
Gold weakened 0.2% to $1,727.95 an ounce.