Dow Positive for Year; Bank of America Rises
The Dow eked out a gain Friday, bumping it into positive territory for the year, as Bank of America shares rallied. But techs, energy and commodities retreated as crude oil slipped.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 28.34, or 0.3 percent, to close at 8,799.26, putting it up about a quarter percent for the year.
The S&P 500 added 0.1 percent, while the Nasdaq shed 0.2 percent.
For the week, all three indexes finished about half a percent higher. And, for the year, all three indexes are now in positive territory.
A computer glitch on the New York Stock Exchange wreaked havoc in the market earlier, halting floor trading on over 200 stocks for more than an hour. Electronic trading, however, continued. Among those big-caps affected were CNBC parent General Electric , Merck and ExxonMobil .
In the day's economic news: export prices rose 0.6 percent in May, while import prices jumped 1.4 percent, mostly due to a surge in gasoline prices.
Meanwhile, consumer sentiment ticked up to a nine-month high in a mid-June reading but failed to top its September 2008 level. The Reuters/University of Michigan gauge of consumers' mood rose to 69from 68.7 at the end of May. That was just shy of the 69.5 economists had expected.
Also giving the market a little boost were the results of Iran's election, in which former Prime Minister Mirhossein Mousavi appeared to defeat President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has often spoke out against the U.S., with 65 percent of the vote.
Crude oil fell back but still settled at $72.68 a barrel, its highest close since October 20. In the prior session, oil briefly traded above $73, the first time it's transcended that mark in eight months.
As a result, Chevron was the Dow's best performer this week, up nearly 5 percent. McDonald's was the worst, down nearly 3 percent.
Six of 10 key S&P sectors finished up for the week, led by utilities, which gained 4 percent. Consumer staples was the most negative, down about 1 percent.
In Friday's session, Bank of America shares rose 5.8 percent after Stifel Nicolaus raised its price target on the stock to $22 from $18, saying it expects the firm to pay back all of its TARP loan by early 2010.
This comes after Raymond James analyst Anthony Polini said the stock could easily triple in the next two years.
"I’ve been following banks for more than 20 years and I’ve never seen a company come out of a recession with so much core earnings power and so much strength,” Polini, said on CNBC Thursday.
Other banks also rebounded, including JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo , despite a mixed bag of news for the sector.
Big financials like JPMorgan, Morgan Stanleyand American Express will start repaying government bailout funds next Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported, but America/Merrill Lynch slashed its second-quarter earnings estimates on JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley as well as Goldman Sachs .
BlackRock became the world's biggest asset manager after Barclays confirmed Friday it would sell its BGI investment armto the company for $13.5 billion.
AIG late Thursday said it promised to use any funds won at its high-profile trial to repay U.S. taxpayers.
Investors started to cycle into some defensive stocks like pharmaceuticals but techs took a hit — especially chips — after National Semiconductor issued a dismal outlook.
NatSemi shed 6.1 percent, and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange semiconductor index lost 1.8 percent.
On Tap for Next Week:
MONDAY: NY Fed Empire State survey; Fed's Evans speaks; NAHB housing index
TUESDAY: Housing starts; PPI; industrial production; Madoff sentencing; Earnings from Best Buy, Smithfield Foods, Adobe
WEDNESDAY: Bernanke speaks; weekly mortgage applications; CPI; crude inventories; Earnings from FedEx
THURSDAY: Weekly jobless claims; leading indicators; Philly Fed index; Earnings from Research In Motion
FRIDAY: Quadruple witching
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