On Friday, Wall Street’s major indexes experienced marginal gains as investors reflected on recent advances while Federal Reserve comments introduced uncertainty about potential interest rate cuts.
Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr suggested that the Fed might be nearing the peak of interest rate hikes.
However, San Francisco Fed chief Mary Daly and Boston Fed President Susan Collins emphasized the necessity for further evidence of inflation cooling.
Applied Materials (AMAT.O) encountered a 4% drop in its shares following its third-quarter report and news of a U.S. Justice Department investigation into allegations of export violations to China.
An easing 10-year Treasury note yield, reaching a two-month low, provided some support to equities.
The S&P 500 (.SPX), Nasdaq (.IXIC), and Dow (.DJI) achieved their third consecutive week of gains, with the S&P and Dow achieving their longest weekly winning streaks since July.
Robert Phipps, director at Per Stirling in Austin, Texas, attributed the day’s stock performance to the two-month low in Treasury yields and noted strength in cyclical sectors like energy (.SPNY), industrial (.SPLRCI), and financial (.SPSY).
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) inched up by 1.81 points, or 0.01%, to 34,947.28, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 5.78 points, or 0.13%, to 4,514.02, and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 11.81 points, or 0.08%, to 14,125.48.
For the week, the S&P 500 increased by 2.2%, the Nasdaq composite rose by 2.4%, and the Dow climbed by 1.9%.
As the equity market seeks guidance following earnings and the Fed’s stance, Jack McIntyre, portfolio manager at Brandywine Global in Philadelphia, noted the need for a catalyst to move forward.
Energy was the leading gainer among the S&P 500 sectors, rising by 2.1%, driven by a more than 4% increase in oil prices.
Meanwhile, the communication services index (.SPLRCL) suffered the most significant percentage loss, with Alphabet (GOOGL.O) falling by more than 1%.
The technology sector (.SPLRCT) also underperformed, with Microsoft (MSFT.O) declining by 1.7%.
Amazon.com (AMZN.O) bucked the trend among megacap peers, gaining 1.6%.
The online retailer announced job cuts in its Alexa voice assistant unit, focusing on generative artificial intelligence.
The small-cap Russell 2000 index (.RUT) outperformed broader markets, rallying 1.4% on the day and adding 5.4% for the week.
Retail stocks also saw gains, with Ross Stores (ROST.O) rising by 7.2% and Gap (GPS.N) surging by 30.6% due to better-than-expected third-quarter results.
ChargePoint Holdings (CHPT.N) shares declined by 35.5% as the electric-vehicle charging network provider lowered its third-quarter revenue estimates and appointed Rick Wilmer as CEO.
In terms of trading activity, 10.05 billion shares were traded on U.S. exchanges, slightly below the 20-session moving average of 11.04 billion.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on both the NYSE and Nasdaq.
The S&P 500 recorded 18 new 52-week highs and 1 new low, while the Nasdaq Composite had 55 new highs and 97 new lows.