Market Finishes 5th Week of Gains, Turning S&P 500 Positive 


Another strong gain for stocks Friday extended the market’s recovery from a dismal start to the year to a fifth week in a row.

The Standard and Poor’s 500 index closed up for the year for the first time. The& DowJones industrial average turned positive Thursday. Both had been down more than 10 percent for the year a little more than a month ago.

The& Dow& rose 120.81 points Friday, or 0.7 percent, to 17,602.30. It is up 1 percent for the year. The S&P 500 gained 8.99 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,049.58, and is now up 0.3 percent for 2016. The Nasdaq composite picked up 20.6 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,795.65, though the Nasdaq remains down 4 percent for the year.

Stocks had plunged early this year as investors feared that the Chinese economy, which has been the engine of global growth, was slowing faster than expected and that China’s slide would be enough to pull the U.S. economy into recession.

But over the course of the five-week rally, reports on hiring, manufacturing and construction spending showed the U.S. economy is doing fairly well. And this week the Federal Reserve said it expects to slow the pace of interest rate increases this year.

The biggest gainers Friday were health-care stocks and banks, the worst-performing parts of the market this year. Companies that make aircraft, machinery and chemicals also rose as the dollar fell against other currencies on hopes that the weaker dollar will boost their sales outside of the U.S.

JPMorgan Chase said it will buy back another $1.88 billion in stock, while Bank of America announced an $800 million stock repurchase. Chase stock rose $1.73, or 2.9 percent, to $60.48 and Bank of America shares picked up 39 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $13.79. Financial stocks are also getting a boost from the recovery in oil prices. As energy prices tumbled, investors worried that some bank loans to energy companies wouldn’t get paid back.

Bond prices have also been rising in the wake of the Fed’s announcement, and on Friday the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note dipped to 1.87 percent from 1.90 percent. The euro fell to $1.1268 from $1.1316. The dollar inched up to 111.60 yen after closing at 111.50 yen Thursday.

Oil prices turned lower, though they remained sharply higher for the week. Benchmark U.S. crude lost 76 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $39.44 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oils, gave up 34 cents to $41.20 a barrel in London. On Thursday, U.S. crude closed over $40 per barrel for the first time since early December. The price of U.S. crude is up 50 percent since Feb. 11 on hopes that producers will cut output and relieve a global glut.

Metals prices declined after a big jump on Thursday. Gold fell $10.70 to $1,254.30 an ounce. Silver lost 22 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $15.81 an ounce. Copper dipped 1 cent to $2.28 a pound.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline fell 1 cent to $1.43 a gallon. Heating oil lost 2 cents to $1.24 a gallon. Natural gas gave up 3 cents to $1.91 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Stocks overseas were mixed. Germany’s DAX rose 0.6 percent and France’s CAC 40 added 0.4 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.2 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.2 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.8 percent. The Shanghai Composite index in mainland China rose 1.7 percent.