August 6, 2021

Stocks Gain on Friday After Volatile Week

Stocks advanced modestly on Friday, leaving the Standard Poor’s 500-stock index with slight gains after a volatile week, as strong economic data overshadowed growth concerns in China and Europe and let investors discount the impact of federal spending cuts.

Data reported early in the day showed that Asian factories were slowing and European output was falling, setting off a sharp drop at the beginning of trading in New York. But most of the losses evaporated after a report showed that United States manufacturing activity had expanded in February at the fastest pace in 20 months. Consumer sentiment also rose in February as Americans turned more optimistic about the job market.

As $85 billion in government budget cuts took effect on Friday, President Obama blamed Republicans for the lack of a compromise to avert the so-called sequester. But the stock market appeared to have already priced in legislators’ failure to reach an agreement.

“We were able to dig out of that hole, but not make any great strides on it either,” said Peter M. Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments in Lisle, Ill. “We will probably be in a holding pattern pending some big development on a broader budget deal.”

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 35.17 points, or 0.25 percent, to 14,089.66. The S. P. 500 rose 3.52 points, or 0.23 percent, to 1,518.20. The Nasdaq composite index advanced 9.55 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,169.74.

For the week, the Dow rose 0.64 percent, the S. P. 500 edged up 0.17 percent and the Nasdaq gained 0.25 percent.

It was a bumpy road to the week’s slight gains. The markets slid on Monday after inconclusive elections in Italy revived concerns about the euro zone, only to rebound in the next two sessions after the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, defended the central bank’s stimulus measures.

The low interest rates from the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy have helped equities continue to attract investors. The Dow is less than 1 percent away from its nominal intraday record of 14,198.10. Declines have been shallow and short-lived, with investors jumping in to buy when the market dips.

Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by a ratio of about 17 to 13, while on the Nasdaq, about seven stocks rose for every five that fell.

Shares of Intuitive Surgical jumped 8.5 percent on Friday, to $553.40, after a Cantor Fitzgerald analyst, Jeremy Feffer, upgraded the stock, saying a slide of more than 11 percent on Thursday had been a gross overreaction to a news report.

Groupon shares surged 12.6 percent, to $5.10, a day after the company fired its chief executive in response to weak quarterly results.

Gap stock rose 2.9 percent, to $33.87, after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ expectations and raised its dividend by 20 percent. posted sales that beat forecasts, driving its stock up 7.6 percent, to $182.

Chesapeake Energy shares fell 2.4 percent, to $19.67, after the Securities and Exchange Commission escalated its investigation of the company and its chief executive, Aubrey McClendon, over a perk that granted him a share in each of the natural gas producer’s wells.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose 10/32, to 101 13/32, and its yield fell to 1.85 percent from 1.88 percent late on Thursday.

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