U.S. Stocks Close Higher For The Session But Lower For The Week

Following the lackluster performance seen during trading on Thursday, stocks showed a notable move to the upside during trading on Friday. The major averages all ended the day firmly in positive territory after ending the previous session on opposite sides of the unchanged line.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq outperformed its counterparts, jumping 172.88 points or 1.2 percent to 14,714.66. The Dow also climbed 225.96 points or 0.7 percent to 35,120.08 and the S&P 500 advanced 35.87 points or 0.8 percent to 4,441.67.

Despite the advance on the day, the major averages all moved lower for the week. The Dow slumped by 1.1 percent, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 slid by 0.7 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

With the upward move on the day, stocks did regain ground following the sharp pullback seen during trading on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The major averages fell to their lowest levels in almost a month amid concerns about the outlook for monetary policy following the release of the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting.

The Fed minutes indicated most officials were in favor of beginning to scale back the central bank’s asset purchase program later this year.

However, there was some disagreement about the timing of tapering asset purchases, and analysts have pointed out that some disappointing economic data has been released since the July meeting.

Uncertainty about the outlook for monetary policy may lead traders to keep a close eye on upcoming economic data ahead of the Fed’s next meeting in September.

Technology stocks helped to lead the way higher during trading on Friday, as reflected by the notable advance by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Significant strength was visible among biotechnology stocks, as reflected by the 1.9 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index.

Software stocks also showed a substantial move to the upside, driving the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index up by 1.9 percent to a record closing high.

Computer hardware, housing and brokerage stocks also saw notable strength on the day, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slumped by 1 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index tumbled by 1.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the upside after seeing weakness earlier in the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.4 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both ended the day up by 0.3 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries moved modestly lower amid the strength on Wall Street. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, edged up by 1.8 basis points to 1.260 percent.

Looking Ahead

The economic calendar for next week is relatively light, although traders are likely to keep an eye on reports on new and existing home sales, durable goods orders and personal income and spending.

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