Stocks Flat, but Dow Logs Best Close in 5 Years
Stocks ended narrowly mixed Friday, erasing an earlier rally fueled by the monthly government jobs report, but all three major indexes still posted their first positive week in three and the Dow finished at its best level since December 2007.
Major U.S. Indexes
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 34.79 points, or 0.26 percent, to finish at 13,610.15, its highest close in nearly five years. Home Depot led the blue-chip gainers, while UnitedHealth dragged.
The S&P 500 erased 0.47 points, or 0.03 percent, to end at 1,460.93, snapping a four-day win streak. The Nasdaq fell 13.27 points, or 0.42 percent, to close at 3,136.19.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, closed near 14.
For the week, the Dow rallied 1.29 percent, the S&P 500 jumped 1.41 percent, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.64 percent. Bank of America was the biggest gainer on the Dow, while H-P tumbled more than 13 percent.
Most key S&P sectors ended in positive territory for the week, led by financials. Techs were the only decliners.
“It seems like traders are locking in some profits from earlier this week and ahead of the earnings season,” said Peter Cardillo, chief economists at Rockwell Global Capital, adding that the market may be ripe for a small pullback. (Read More: Earnings Season May Decide Market's Next Direction)
Trading volume is expected to be thin with Columbus Day next Monday (banks and the bond market will be closed, while the stock market will be open) and light economic data throughout the week.
Third-quarter earnings season kicks off next week with Dow component Alcoa on Tuesday, for further market direction. Financial giants JPMorgan and Wells Fargo are also expected to report earnings next week.
Stocks rose at the open following news that the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent, dropping below 8 percent for the first time in nearly four years, as employers added 114,000 jobs in September, according to the Labor Department. (Read More: What the Jobs Report Really Says About the Economy)
Economists polled by Reuters forecast non-farm payrolls rose by 113,000 in September, versus 96,000 in August.
“Everyone’s focused on the rate dipping below 8 percent—it’s not a magical number…it doesn’t make people feel better about the economic situation,” said Todd Schoenberger, managing principal at The BlackBay Group. “September is historically a strong month for jobs and the headline number was a complete disappointment.” (Read More: Welch's Tweet and the Jobs Number Conspiracy)
Also on the economic front, consumer credit increased by $18.1 billion to $2.726 trillion in August, after falling for the first time in nearly a year in July, according to the Federal Reserve.
Zynga plunged after the social gaming company cut its full-year outlook. Sentiment surrounding Zynga has already been hurt by a number of executive departures, and the company said the current quarter is “challenging” due to poorer-than-expected performance for certain games. At least six brokerages cut their price target on the firm.
Facebook also fell following the news. The social-networking giant received 14 percent of its revenue from Zynga in the first half of the year. Morgan Stanley lowered its price target on the stock to $28 from $30.
Apple ended near session lows as the iPhone maker's stock broke through a 50-day moving average. Separately, rival Samsung posted a record quarterly profit, nearly doubling last year's figure.
Avon Products rallied to lead the S&P 500 gainers after the beauty-product company announced Chairman Andrea Jung will step downat the end of the year and will be succeeded by Fred Hassan.
Oil prices pulled backto settle below $90 a barrel,after spiking nearly four percent in the previous session, amid a fragile global economy and uncertainty about Europe's debt crisis. (Read More: Gasoline Prices Set to Rise Through Election Day)
Shares ended higher in Europe after ECB President Mario Draghi said that the central bank was ready to act and that its new bond-buying program had already helped ease market tension.
But worries over Spain continued after the country’s Finance Minister Luis de Guindos said the nation does not need a bailout.
—By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)
On Tap Next Week:
MONDAY: Columbus Day—banks/bond market closed; stock market open
TUESDAY: NFIB small biz index, 3-yr note auction, FedEx investors mtg, P&G shareholers mtg; Earnings from Alcoa, Yum Brands
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, wholesale trade, 10-yr note auction, Beige Book, Treasury budget, Wal-Mart investors mtg; Earnings from Costco
THURSDAY: International trade, jobless claims, import/export prices, oil inventories, 30-yr bond auction
FRIDAY: PPI, consumer sentiment, GM resumes Volt production; Earnings from JPMorgan, Wells Fargo
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