Stocks zigzag amid calm stretch
U.S. stocks traded in their tightest weekly range in 21 years as investors sorted through data that kept them guessing about the economy’s resiliency.
Equities slipped after zigzagging between gains and losses, with the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index ending the period lower by 0.7 percent. This is the sixth straight week with a move of less than 1 percent, the longest stretch of calm since May 1994.
Friday’s action was a microcosm of the week, as the index swung from green to red more than a dozen times. Jobs data that showed the strongest hiring in five months and the biggest wage gains since 2013 bolstered optimism in the economy and fueled bets that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates this year.
Equities investors, already skittish amid a sell-off in global bonds and with signs that Greece’s debt standoff could end in default, are weighing whether higher borrowing costs will snuff out a struggling recovery.
The S&P 500 ended the week 1.8 percent below its May 21 record. The gauge has not moved more than 1 percent either way in 14 of the past 15 sessions, and the spread between the highest and lowest close this year has been only 6.9 percent, the narrowest since 2006.
The U.S. treasury will sell $24 billion in three-month and six-month bills Monday. They yielded minus-0.5 percent and 0.085 percent, respectively, in when-issued trading.
Editor’s note: Going forward, our weekly composite stock listing highlights companies based in Washington or with a strong presence here. The rest of the table shows firms as ranked by market capitalization. And we’ve added year-to-date data because readers told us it would be useful.