S&P 500 limps to another winning but mixed week
U.S. stocks limped to the finish line in another winning week, with indexes turning in a mixed performance Friday.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped 3.13 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,378.25 on Friday. Gains a couple days earlier fueled by the Federal Reserve meant the index rose 0.2 percent for the week. It’s the seventh weekly gain for the S&P 500 in the last eight, and the index is within 1 percent of its record high.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 19.93 points, or 0.1 percent, to 20,914.62. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.24 points, or 0.004 percent, to 5,901.00. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks rose 5.49, or 0.4 percent, to 1,391.52. Three stocks rose for every two that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.
The midweek rally came after the Federal Reserve gave a more measured forecast for interest-rate increases than some investors expected. While raising rates by a quarter of a percentage point, the central bank said that it’s still planning a total of three increases this year. That came as a surprise for some investors, who thought four hikes was possible given the pickup in the economy and inflation.
“The big focal point for the week was the Fed,” said Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management. “Now that we have that behind us, the rest is window dressing.”
Investors are turning their attention to the market’s next potential flash points, Jacobsen said, including whether Washington will be able to deliver on promises to cut taxes, boost infrastructure spending and otherwise boost the economy.
Jeweler Tiffany sparkled after it also reported better profit than analysts expected for its latest quarter.
Benchmark U.S. crude rose 3 cents to settle at $48.78 per barrel. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, rose 2 cents to $51.76 per barrel.