Market pros predicting a sharp near-term pullback are pointing to worries from Washington.
China's benchmark index shot up to a seven-week high on Monday, boosting Asian stocks across the board on optimism that the world's second-largest economy may be stabilizing, but Japan bucked the trend after weak growth data.
U.S. Treasury debt prices rose in light volume on Friday, aided by a lack of new supply and by the stock market's struggle to advance from near record-high levels.
Stocks finished the week in negative territory, with major indexes logging their worst week since June, as investors found little reason to buy following the market's recent highs and amid ongoing worries about when the Fed may start to wind down its stimulus program.
The dollar rebounded 0.2 percent from a recent seven-week low against a basket of currencies on Friday as investors bought at cheaper levels, with talk about when the Federal Reserve will begin cutting back its monthly bond buying dominating market chatter.
Oil prices rose on Friday, boosted by supply disruptions in the Middle East and signs of rising Chinese demand.
Gold rose on Friday on an oil rally and falling US equities, with bullion on track to rise for a second consecutive week.
European shares closed higher on Friday, boosted by mining stocks which received a lift from broadly positive Chinese data, as well as a strong performance from European bank stocks.
Art Cashin, UBS, shares why he is expecting a quiet Friday in the markets, although he is keeping an eye on the U.S. dollar and yields.
China's benchmark index outperformed Asia on Friday to end the week in positive territory after a raft of economic data painted an upbeat picture of the world's second largest economy.
U.S. dollar was suppose stand tall, pumped up by higher interest rates and the prospect of an improving economy. But instead it's been sagging.
The dollar dropped for a fifth consecutive session against major currencies on Thursday as recent economic data and comments from Fed officials added to uncertainty about when the U.S. central bank might reduce its bond purchases.
Stocks snapped a three-day losing streak Thursday, with the S&P 500 finishing just below the 1,700 mark, buoyed by stronger-than-expected Chinese trade data and following a favorable jobless claims report.
U.S. Treasuries pared gains on Thursday after the weak auction of the 30-year bonds, the last of three Treasury coupon sales this week.
Crude oil prices on both sides of the Atlantic dropped sharply on Thursday as traders liquidated long positions and followed gasoline futures prices lower.
Gold jumped nearly 2 percent to above $1,300 an ounce on Thursday as surprisingly strong rebounds in China's exports and imports sparked economic optimism.
Japan's benchmark index suffered a second consecutive steep fall on Thursday after the previous day's 4 percent tumble as the yen rose, while the rest of Asia ended mixed following China's upbeat trade figures.
The dollar fell to a seven-week low against major currencies on Wednesday, stung by steep losses against the yen and sterling, on concerns about the scope and timing of the Federal Reserve's eventual tapering of its bond-buying program.
Stocks recovered from their worst levels but still closed in the red for a third session Wednesday, with major averages retreating further from their recent highs, amid renewed concerns about when the Federal Reserve may start to wind down its bond-buying program.
Gold partially recovered from a three-week low hit on Wednesday, but remained under pressure on prospect that the Fed could start to rein in its stimulus program as soon as next month.
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