Market Snapshot: Dow edges higher at end of the week as investors take stock of coronavirus recovery

U.S. stocks were trading mixed Friday reflecting a muddled week that has left technology stocks sharply higher but the rest of the market stuck in a range as uncertainty over the economic outlook in the era of COVID-19 dampens appetite for assets considered risky.

How are benchmarks performing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+0.84%

rose 212 points, or 0.8%, to 25,918. The S&P 500
SPX,
+0.43%

was up 15 points, or 0.5%, at 3,167. The Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
+0.00%

was up 2 points at 10,550.

On Thursday, the Dow closed 361.19 points, or 1.4%, to end at 25,706.09; the S&P 500 index lost 17.89 points, or 0.6%, at 3,152.05; while the Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 55.25 points, or 0.5%, at 10,547.75, marking its second record in a row and its 26th of 2020.

For the week, the Dow is on pace to finish with a 0.5% decline, the S&P 500 is on track to book a weekly return of 0.7%, while the Nasdaq was set for a 3.3% advance over the five-session period, as of Thursday’s close.

What’s driving the market?

Market participants remain skittish about the path forward for risk assets and were scooping up government bonds on Friday, as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continued to rise in many American states.

The U.S. saw a record number of new infections of COVID-19, rising by more than 63,000 to mark another single-day record, as hospitals in Texas, California and other states also saw rising hospitalizations from the illness, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“It remains to be seen if July 4 mingling will have an impact on disease statistics and ultimately deaths, but the post-Memorial Day surge is not encouraging,” said Ben Kirby, portfolio manager at Thornburg Investment Management, in a note.

Total U.S. cases of coronavirus climbed to more than 3.1 million and the death toll topped 133,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The illness also is seeing a resurgence in other parts of the world. Specifically, Australia, India, and South Korea are seeing increased social-distancing measures or new lockdown measures.

Investors eyed developments on therapies for the coronavirus. Gilead
GILD,
+2.44%

said a new analysis of previously disclosed clinical trial data found its experimental therapy remdesivir can reduce the risk of mortality in COVID-19 patients. The drugmaker’s shares were up 1.1%.

Meanwhile, in China, a streak of gains in stock prices for the week, that had been sparked by bullish comments from a state-run paper, cooled to close out a rally in the region, as government officials issued warnings of overexuberance in state-owned media.

Separately, China said that it would impose reciprocal sanctions against U.S. officials after the U.S. imposed sanctions on individuals and institutions for human rights abuses of Uighurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority living in China’s Xinjiang province.

In economic data, the wholesale cost of U.S. goods and services fell by 0.2% in June, reflecting depressed demand in retail and other major parts of the economy caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Looking forward, investors are bracing for corporate earnings reports, which will kick off in earnest next week, with the banking sector slated to deliver quarterly results that are likely to be disappointing.

How are others stocks trading?

Clothing retailer Express Inc.’s shares rose 1.3% Friday, after the company
EXPR,
+6.00%

said same-store sales and traffic are improving as most of its stores have reopened after being closed for the coronavirus pandemic

Shares of Carnival Corp.
CCL,
+9.94%

rose 4.5%, after the cruise operator provided a business update, reiterating that it continues to see demand from new bookings next year.

What are other assets doing?

The 10-year Treasury yield was trading at around 0.596%, around its lowest level since April. Bond yields falls as prices rise.

August futures for U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude
CL.1,
+1.43%

rose 31 cents, or 0.8%, to $39.93 a barrel. Futures for gold
GOLD,
-1.64%

traded up $5.50, or 0.3%, to $1,808.70 an ounce, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The dollar weakened marginally against its major rivals, trading down 0.1% based on the ICE U.S. Dollar Index.
DXY,
-0.19%

In global equities, the STOXX Europe 600 index
SXXP,
+0.87%

and the U.K.’s FTSE
UKX,
+0.75%

were both up 0.5%. China’s CSI 300 benchmark
000300,
-1.81%

fell 1.8%, but remains up 16% year-to-date. The Japanese Nikkei
NIK,
-1.05%

shed around 1.1%.