A Rough Week Has a Strong Finish

But Friday's gains aren't enough to wipe out the earlier losses
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 20, 2021 3:15 PM CDT
A Rough Week Has a Strong Finish
Pedestrians pass the New York Stock Exchange in New York in this file photo.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Stocks notched decent gains on Friday, though they were not enough to erase the losses from earlier in the week. The Dow rose 225 points to 35,120, the S&P 500 rose 35 points to 4,441, and the Nasdaq gained 172 points to 14,714. Technology companies in particular led broad gains for the benchmark S&P. Microsoft rose 2.7% and chipmaker Nvidia was up 5.2%. Communications, health care, and financial stocks also accounted for a big share of the gains, per the AP. Energy stocks were higher, despite another pullback in energy prices. Investors turned cautious this week following disappointing economic reports on retail sales, housing, and consumer sentiment. Escalating coronavirus infections across the US and around the globe due to the delta variant have also given traders reason to pause with the market near all-time highs.

“Today was the first day that the market didn’t have to deal with disappointing economic data,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at All Star Charts. “We also need to remember it's a Friday in August, not typically an environment where we look for big signals out of the market.” The other potential issue keeping stocks held back is inflation. Earlier this week, minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve meeting showed that officials had discussed reducing the Fed's bond-buying program later this year to start winding down some of the emergency measures that were implemented during the pandemic. But they stopped short of setting a firm timeline. The Fed's annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, next week could offer hints on when such tapering may begin.

(More stock market stories.)

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