Friday Gains Cap Off Choppy Week!
Wall Street closed the week on a high note Friday. Overall, it was a down week for the broader market as sentiment has seemed to have shifted for the time being. This was the first down week in six weeks in what is a somewhat necessary move for a healthy market. It was a quiet day on the news front, no blockbuster earnings or data points. The looming blizzard here in the northeast reduced volume substantially. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 48.92 points, or 0.4%, to 13,992.97, with 21 of the 30 blue chips finishing green. The S&P 500 index gained 8.54 points, or 0.6%, to 1,517.93, with tech and consumer discretionary stocks leading its 10 major sectors higher. The tech heavy Nasdaq Composite finished near session highs, advancing 28.74 points, or 0.9%, to 3,193.87. On the week, the blue chips fell 0.1%, the S&P lost 0.3%, while the Nasdaq was the lone gainer, advancing 0.5%.
March crude settled at $95.72 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 11 cents, or 0.1%. Front month crude was off 2.1% for the week for the lowest settlement in two weeks. Gold shed $4.40, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,666.90 an ounce. For the week, prices finished 0.2% lower.
The U.S. trade balance in December unexpectedly narrowed sharply. The trade deficit shrank to $38.5 billion from $48.6 billion in November. Market expectations were for a trade gap of $46.0 billion. Exports jumped 2.1 percent, following a 1.0 percent rebound in November. Imports declined 2.7 percent after rebounding 3.7 percent in November.