Stocks traded mixed on Friday, with the S&P 500 and Dow falling slightly lower as coronavirus pandemic fears reignited and additional stimulus optimism began to lose steam. The Nasdaq, however, outperformed to close at a fresh record high as traders continued to pour into tech stocks.
All benchmarks ended the week with gains, with the S&P 500 finishing up 2.2%, the Dow edging 0.6% higher and the Nasdaq jumping 3.8%.
Market participants have been focusing on newly sworn-in President Joe Biden this week as he has already signed dozens of executive orders aimed at containing the nation's surging coronavirus outbreak. Yet, investors have become concerned about the pandemic's economic impact and outlooks have dimmed towards the near-term passage of Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package.
Here's how the market settled to close out the week:
S&P 500 Index (SPY ): -0.3% or -11.60 points to 3,841.47
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA ): -0.57% or -179.03 points tp 30.996.98
Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ ): +0.09% or +12.15 points to 13,543.06
For Stocks, tech giants Microsoft (MSFT ), Apple (AAPL ), and Facebook (FB ) rose higher on Friday, rallying 8%, 8.1% and 15.5%, respectively, for the week ahead of their quarterly earnings report. IBM (IBM ) shares fell nearly 10% following its earnings report that showed a decline in revenue, its fourth consecutive quarter. Intel (INTC ) shares fell 7% following a 6% pop after the firm's better-than-expected earnings results.
For Sector Performance, most sectors on the S&P 500 ended Friday's session slightly lower, with Real Estate (XLRE ), Utilities (XLU ) and Communication Services (XLC ) being the only ones to close in positive territory. Energy (XLE ) and Financials (XLF ) were the bottom two losing sectors, declining less than 1%.
For Commodities and Currency, the U.S. Dollar (UUP ) climbed higher on Friday, after three straight sessions of losses, as negative global economic data curbed risk sentiment and sent investors back towards the safe haven. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against other global currencies, edged 0.1% higher to 90.209. Gold (GLD ) prices slipped on Friday on a stronger dollar, but continued stimulus hopes held the yellow metal's first weekly gain in three. Spot gold fell 1% lower to $1,851.50 per ounce, but gained 1.4% for the week. U.S. gold futures slipped 0.8% to $1,851.50 per ounce. Crude oil futures declined on Friday, as coronavirus pandemic demand fears were further weighed down by a surprise increase in U.S. crude inventories. International benchmark Brent Crude (BNO ) decreased by 1.1% to $55.50 per barrel, while domestic index West Texas Intermediate (USO ) fell 1.6% lower at $52.27 each.
For the week ahead, traders will turn their attention to a busy earnings week, with more than 100 S&P 500 companies earnings, including Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Tesla (TSLA ), are set to release. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ ) is also expected to report data on its late-stage clinical trial of its one-dose coronavirus vaccine candidate.