Tech stock rally helps snap los­ing streak

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - MONEY & MARKETS -

Stocks re­bounded Fri­day, claw­ing back some of the week’s steep losses, but the tur­bu­lent trad­ing of the past few days left no doubt that the rel­a­tive calm the mar­kets en­joyed all sum­mer had been shat­tered.

Ma­jor U.S. in­dexes ended the week down about 4 per­cent, their worst weekly loss in six months. An in­dex mea­sur­ing the per­for­mance of small-com­pany stocks had its worst week since early 2016.

Big tech­nol­ogy and con­sumer-fo­cused com­pa­nies led the re­cov­ery Fri­day af­ter plung­ing the past few days. A ma­jor fac­tor for the pull­back was a sharp in­crease in in­ter­est rates, which can slow the econ­omy and make bonds more at­trac­tive to in­vestors rel­a­tive to stocks.

Ap­ple rose 3.6 per­cent to $222.11, and Mi­crosoft gained 3.5 per­cent to $109.57. Ama­zon jumped 4 per­cent to $1,788.41. Those are the three most valu­able com­pa­nies in the U.S., and they suf­fered star­tling de­clines the past few days: on Wed­nes­day, each took its big­gest loss in more than two years. That made for a dra­matic end to three months of calm on the mar­ket.

The S&P 500 in­dex rose 38.76 points, or 1.4 per­cent, to 2,767.13 to end a six-day los­ing streak. The bench­mark in­dex tum­bled 4.1 per­cent this week, and it’s down 5.6 per­cent since from its lat­est record high, set Sept. 20. The Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age rose as much as 414 points early on, then gave it all up and turned slightly lower. It re­bounded and fin­ished with a gain of 287.16 points, or 1.1 per­cent, at 25,339.99.

Small com­pa­nies didn’t fare as well. The Rus­sell 2000 in­dex rose just 1.30 points, or 0.1 per­cent, to 1,546.68 to wrap up its largest loss in one week since Jan­uary 2016.

U.S. au­tomak­ers Gen­eral Mo­tors and Ford kept slump­ing. GM shed 1.6 per­cent to $31.79, its low­est in nearly two years. Ford, trad­ing at its low­est in al­most nine years, dipped 1.9 per­cent to $8.64. Both have plunged as they deal with slow­ing sales and steel and alu­minum du­ties that are rais­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing costs.

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