U.S. stocks finished mixed on Friday with the Dow notching its highest close since April 21, while the S&P 500 index finished marginally lower, but held above the key 4,000 level.
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite finished lower following back-to-back gains. All three major U.S. benchmarks finished the week with modest gains.
How stocks traded
The S&P 500
finished down 1.1 points, or less than 0.1%, at 4,026.12.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
closed 152.97 points, or 0.5%, higher at 34,347.03.
The Nasdaq Composite
shed 58.96 points, or 0.5%, to 11,226.36.
Markets were closed on Thursday in observance of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. On Friday, all three benchmarks clinched their second weekly gain in three weeks, with the Dow rising 1.8%, the S&P 500 up 1.5% and the Nasdaq Composite gaining just 0.7%.
MarketWatch Live: How stocks have performed on every Black Friday going back to 1950
What drove markets?
U.S. stocks booked their second weekly gain in three on Friday as Wednesday’s decidedly dovish minutes from the Federal Reserve’s November policy meeting helped support stocks, even as tighter COVID-19-linked restrictions on movement and business in China undermined the outlook for the global economy.
As a result, investors were clinging to hopes on Friday that the Fed would shift to a less-aggressive pace of interest-rate hikes amid heightened concerns about an economic downturn in 2023.
There was no notable economic data released on Friday, but investors are facing a busy week ahead, with a large batch of data coming.
Important data points due next week include a revised reading on third-quarter U.S. gross domestic product, the PCE price index for October, home prices for September, and November employment data.
Elsewhere, China’s central bank said Friday that it will cut the amount of deposits banks must set aside, releasing 500 billion yuan ($69.91 billion) of liquidity into an economy reeling from the worst COVID-19 outbreak since Wuhan.
“How effective that will prove to be when cities are seeing restrictions and effective lockdowns reimposed is hard to say. But combined with other measures to boost the property market and ease Covid curbs, the cut could be supportive over the medium term when growth remains highly uncertain,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA, in a note to clients.
The post-Thanksgiving trading day Friday also kicks off the start of annual holiday shopping, known as Black Friday, which could put shares of Amazon.com
and other retailers in focus.
“Going into the holiday season, we’ll get an early idea of the state of play for household spending in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis,” added Erlam.
The bond market is facing a recommended early close, but the yield on the two-year note
was down 2.9 basis points to 4.475%, while the yield on the 10-year note
was essentially flat at 3.694%.
Companies in focus
fell after Wedbush Securities said Friday that iPhone shortages have gotten worse in the past week as protests continue at Foxconn, which builds the smart phones for for Apple Inc.
shares were higher, after hitting a 52 week high Wednesday, following reports earlier in the week that it was considering strategic options, including a possible sale.
Shares of Activision Blizzard
traded lower following a report that the Federal Trade Commission was likely to file an antitrust lawsuit to block the videogame publisher’s acquisition by Microsoft Corp.
shares advanced, shrugging off news of a recall of about 80,000 cars in China, while other reports said the EV maker’s full self driving beta software is now available to everyone in North America.