Stocks End Mixed, but Finish Higher for Week; AMZN Tumbles, JCP Surges 11%
Stocks finished narrowly mixed in lackluster trading Friday, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq snapping their five-day winning streak, after a pair of weaker-than-expected economic reports discouraged buying.
Still, all three major averages finished in positive territory for the week, zigzagging between weekly gains and losses for the seventh time. The last time the Dow alternated between gains and losses seven times on a weekly basis was in December 2010.
U.S. Major Index Performance
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a gain of 11.75 points to close at 14,712.55, led by Hewlett-Packard. The blue-chip index traded in a narrow 58-point range.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, ended below 14.
For the week, the Dow climbed 1.13 percent, the S&P 500 rallied 1.74 percent and the Nasdaq jumped 2.28 percent. DuPont was the best weekly performer on the Dow, while Procter & Gamble lagged.
(Read More: The S&P 500's Most Shorted Stocks)
Among the key S&P sectors, energy was the top performer for the week, while telecoms slumped.
On the economic front, the Department of Commerce said first quarter gross domestic product increased just 2.5 percent, lower than expectations for at least 3.0 percent. In the long run it may not matter, though, to a market hooked on the $85 billion a month in liquidity the Federal Reserve is providing through asset purchases.
"GDP has historically been one of the economic releases with the largest impact on bond and equity markets. However, since the start of the crisis most economic data have had a much larger market impact, while the effect of GDP surprises has faded," Goldman economists said in a note.
(Read More: The Economy May Stink, but the Market Doesn't Care)
Also on the economic front, consumer sentiment eased in April to 76.4 from 78.6 in March, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final reading on the overall index as Americans remained concerned about their employment and financial prospects. Still, the latest reading topped expectations for 73.2, according to a Reuters survey.
Amazon.com posted earnings that exceeded Wall Street expectations, but shares declined as the online retailer forecast weak sales in the current quarter, raising worries about a slowing international business.
Starbucks slid after the coffeehouse giant posted revenue that fell slightly short of estimates. The company also handed in a weaker-than-expected current-quarter and fourth-quarter earnings guidance.
Elsewhere, the market got another sign that the housing sector is improving as homebuilder D.R. Horton reported earnings of 32 cents a share, nearly double analyst estimates of 19 cents, pushing shares sharply higher.
"For those that were counting on earnings to lift the market and individual issues higher, they are looking at the wrong 'line,'" wrote Eliot Spar, market strategist at Stifel Nicolaus. "Its revenue or lack of that is the big factor. Lower rates, buybacks and increased productivity are great for the bottom line but nowadays that influence is wearing thin."
"When lower than expected revenue meets momentum, and or stretched valuation it is not a pretty picture," he continued. "The Fed can't wave its magic wand far enough to boost real demand."
So far, just about 50 percent of S&P 500 companies have reported results, with 69 percent of firms topping expectations and 20 percent missing estimates, according to the latest data from Thomson Reuters. If all remaining companies report earnings in line with estimates, earnings will be up 3.8 percent from last year's first quarter.
Meanwhile, only 42 percent of companies have beaten their revenue forecasts. On average, sales have come in 2 percent below estimates.
JCPenney soared to lead the S&P 500 gainers after billionaire investor George Soros disclosed a 7.9 percent stake in the retailer. Separately, CNBC learned that Goldman Sachs has secured a $1.75 billion loan for the company. The loan would be backed by real estate, real estate leases and other assets.
—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter:
On Tap Next Week:
MONDAY: Personal income & outlays, pending home sales, Dallas Fed mfg survey, American Express shareholder mtg, United Tech shareholder mtg; Earnings from Express Scripts, Hartford Financial, Newmont Mining, Buffalo Wild Wings
TUESDAY: Employment cost index, S&P case-shiller home price index, Chicago PMI, consumer confidence, farm prices, IBM shareholder mtg, Underarmour shareholder mtg, Heinz shareholders vote on Berkshire buyout; Earnings from BP, Deutsche Bank, Pfizer, UBS, Aetna, NYSE Euronext, Sirius XM Radio, US Steel, DreamWorks Animation
WEDNESDAY: Mortgage applications, ADP employment report, PMI manufacturing report, ISM mfg index, construction spending, oil inventories, FOMC mtg announcement, auto sales, McGraw-Hill shareholder mtg, New York Times shareholder mtg, PepsiCo shareholder mtg, JCPenney Martha Stewart shops open; Earnings from Comcast, MasterCard, Merck, Time Warner, CVS Caremark, Chesapeake Energy, Clorox, Humana, Facebook, Visa, Allstate, CBS, Marriott, MetLife, Yelp
THURSDAY: Challenger job-cut report, ECB announcement, international trade, jobless claims, productivity & costs, natural gas inventories, Fed balance sheet/money supply, DirecTV shareholder mtg, UBS shareholder mtg, UPS shareholder mtg, Verizon shareholder mtg; Earnings from GM, Royal Dutch Shell, Sanofi, Kellogg, Beazer Homes, AIG, Gilead Sciences, Kraft Foods
FRIDAY: Nonfarm payrolls, factory orders, ISM non-mfg index, AOL shareholder mtg, Blackstone analyst mtg; Earnings from Berkshire Hathaway
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