S&P 500 limps to an­other win­ning but mixed week

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Stan Choe

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.

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