U.S. stocks closed mildly higher Friday despite a renewed decline in oil prices and uncertainty ahead of the key Federal Reserve meeting next week.
The major averages reversed mild opening losses and wavered throughout the day before closing up about half a percent near session highs.
"The market's in a sideways wait-and-see mode, not only because we're going into the weekend but also the Fed meeting next week," said Randy Frederick, managing director trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab.
The Dow Jones industrial average recouped an 85.75-point loss to surge into the close, ending up 102.69 points, boosted by UnitedHealth and McDonald's. The blue chip index ended up 2.05 percent on the week, its best since the week ended March 20.
The S&P 500 gained 2.07 percent for the week and Nasdaq composite gained 2.96 percent, for their best weeks since the one ended July 17.
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"Technically, the end-of-day and end-of-week rally is a subtle but important sign that the bulls are getting stronger and that investors are getting more confident ahead of the Fed meeting," said Adam Sarhan, CEO of Sarhan Capital.
"I think the market is cautious and there might be some bargain hunting going on," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth.
"There doesn't seem to be anything to be ... behind it other than breaking that 1,947 (level on the S&P 500). We broke that 1,947 and the market moved up," he said.
The S&P closed at 1,961, about 8 percent away from its 52-week high. The greatest declining sector, energy, closed down 0.74 percent pressured by a decline in oil prices,
Crude oil broke a 2-week winning streak to end the week down more than 3 percent.
Crude oil futures for October delivery settled down $1.29, or 2.81 percent, at $44.63 a barrel. Earlier, the commodity fell about 3 percent or more on a Goldman Sachs cut on oil price forecasts. The weekly U.S. oil rig count declined for a second-straight week, falling by 10.
Investors are mixed over whether the Federal Open Market Committee will raise rates at its meeting next Wednesday and Thursday.
"All eyes are on the Fed from a market perspective. Any number that could jog the Fed to tighten (is in focus)," said Ben Pace, chief investment officer at HPM Partners.