U.S. stocks turned higher on Friday, with the Dow knocking out an all-time finish, as consumer discretionary and health care companies led late-session gains and momentum stocks bounced back after a three-day slide.
"Every Friday the market has dropped over the last month or two because traders don't want to hold risk with the goings on in Ukraine and all that, so it will be interesting to see if we have a later-day selloff, or maybe there is a little less uncertainty over Ukraine," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer, at BMO Private Bank.
Nvidia shares fell after the computer chip manufacturer's outlook for current-quarter revenue met expectations, but left investors concerned about reduced demand in the PC industry; Apple shares fell after The Financial Times and others reported the consumer technology company was close to paying $3.2 billion to acquire Beats, a headphone company found by rapper Dr. Dre.
Computer Sciences led gains on the S&P 500 after Stifel Nicolaus raised its per-share price target to $68 from $60, with the upgrade coming a day after the provider of IT services reported quarterly earnings, hiked its dividend and announced a $1.5 billion share repurchase program.
Ralph Lauren fell after the clothing retailer reported earning that beat expectations, but warned its operating margin would drop as it spends money to further build its network of stores. Merck gained after U.S. regulators approved a drug developed by the pharmaceutical company to prevent blood clots.