New York, U.S. stocks ended little changed Friday, reversing early gains, even after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said a large stimulus package is needed for a full economic recovery. Stocks pared gains in the afternoon on a combination of rising interest rates and profit taking.
For the week, the Dow industrials gained 0.25 percent, the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 0.6 percent, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq dropped 1.5 percent.
In U.S. economic news, existing-home sales unexpectedly rose 0.6 percent in January to an annual rate of 6.69 million units, the most since October and the second-highest since 2006. Home re-sales have surged 23.7 percent from a year ago, supported by record-low mortgage-loan interest rates and the desire for bigger properties for remote working and learning during the pandemic.
The U.S. dollar fell versus a basket of other currencies, as Thursday’s U.S. jobless-claims data hurt optimism for a quick recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gold rose slightly from a more than seven-month low as the dollar declined, but rising Treasury yields pushed the metal to its biggest weekly drop since early January. Futures advanced 0.1 percent to $1,777.40 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Oil fell from recent highs for a second consecutive session as Texas energy companies started to prepare for restarting oil and natural-gas fields shuttered by freezing weather. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped 2.1 percent to $59.24 a barrel. The contract posted its first losing week in three.
The Dow Jones industrial average was virtually unchanged, rising 0.98 to 31,494.32. Eighteen of the index’s 30 components declined, led by Visa and Nike, which each lost over 2 percent. Dow Inc. and Boeing led gainers, surging 4.9 and 4.3 percent, respectively.
The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 7.26, or 0.2 percent, to 3,906.71. Utilities and consumer staples led declining sectors. Materials, industrials, and financials—all cyclical stocks—led gaining sectors.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index was little changed, rising 9.11 to 13,874.46. Apple added 0.1 percent, and chipmaker Applied Materials jumped over 6 percent after issuing a better-than-expected quarterly forecast. Facebook dropped 2.9 percent, Amazon lost 2.35 percent, Netflix was 1.5 percent lower, and Google-parent Alphabet declined 0.8 percent.
Source: Saudi Press Agency