S&P 500 Snaps 6-Week String Of Gains Even as Stocks Rise


U.S. stocks shook off a midday stumble to finish slightly higher Friday, though the modest rebound was not enough to keep the S&P 500 from breaking its longest stretch of weekly gains in two years.

Banks, health care stocks and companies that rely on consumer spending powered much of the rebound, outweighing losses in technology, real estate and other sectors. Oil prices fell.

Markets around the world churned this week on uncertainty about whether the U.S. and China can soon halt their trade dispute, or at least stop it from escalating. New U.S. tariffs are set to hit Dec. 15 on many Chinese-made items.

Tariffs already put in place have hurt manufacturing around the world, and businesses have held back on spending given all the uncertainty about where the rules of global trade will end up.

The S&P 500 rose 6.75 points, or 0.2%, to 3,110.29. It had earlier been up 0.3% and then down 0.1%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 109.33 points, or 0.4%, to 27,875.62. The Nasdaq composite added 13.67 points, or 0.2%, to 8,519.88.

Traders favored smaller company stocks, giving the Russell 2000 index a gain of 4.98 points, or 0.3%, to 1,588.94.

Major stock indexes in Europe also finished broadly higher. Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 1.77%.

Despite the mostly down week, the major U.S. stock indexes are on track for strong gains this year. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are up by more than 24%, while the Dow is up nearly 20%.

Hopes that Washington and Beijing can make progress on a trade deal helped spur the market higher since late October, along with surprisingly good corporate earnings, solid economic data and interest-rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

Stocks receded from those highs this week as investors grew more doubtful about the prospects of a trade deal. Doubts have persisted despite some encouraging remarks from the presidents of both nations.

Traders sized up another batch of corporate earnings from retailers Friday.

Nordstrom surged 10.6% after the retailer said it made a bigger profit last quarter than Wall Street expected.

It was a bright spot for the retail sector after a long list of mall-based clothing retailers delivered weak third-quarter earnings reports. Macy’s cut its profit and sales forecast for the year as shoppers continue to head online instead of to the store. The department store climbed 5.2% Friday, though it still ended down more than 8% for the week.

Tesla skidded 6.1% after some analysts panned the unveiling of its electric pickup truck. It’s aiming at the most profitable part of the North American market; investors are skeptical about how many traditional pickup drivers the blocky, angular looks of Tesla’s “Cybertruck” will draw.

Crude oil fell 81 cents to settle at $57.77 a barrel. Brent crude oil dropped 58 cents to close at $63.39 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline fell 3 cents to $1.67 per gallon. Heating oil declined 1 cent to $1.93 per gallon. Natural gas rose 10 cents to $2.67 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold was unchanged at $1,463.10 per ounce, silver fell 6 cents to $16.99 per ounce and copper rose 3 cents to $2.65 per pound.

The dollar fell to 108.65 Japanese yen from 108.66 yen on Thursday. The euro weakened to $1.1020 from $1.1059.

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