NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks headed higher Friday as the market bounced back from a steep loss the day before. Most Asian and European markets were closed for a holiday.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average was up 157 points, or 0.9 percent, to 17,998 as of 2:27 p.m. Eastern time. The 30-company average lost 195 points the day before.The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 19 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,104, while the Nasdaq composite rose 50 points, 1 percent, to 4,990.TRADERS TRADING: “It’s an odd day in the markets,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank. The economic news out Friday was mostly disappointing, he said, yet traders pushed up major indexes at the end of a rough week. The S&P 500 is on track for a 0.8 percent weekly loss, the Nasdaq for a 2.2 percent loss.MIXED: Spending on construction fell in March, the government reported Friday, a result of a drop in new home building and government projects. Another report said optimism about the job market last month lifted U.S. consumer sentiment to its second-highest level since 2007.
NOT TRENDING: LinkedIn plunged 20 percent after the online networking service warned of weaker earnings in the months ahead, a result of the stronger dollar and the company’s pending purchase of Lynda.com, an online learning company. Twitter continued a slump started earlier in the week when the company turned in disappointing sales and cut its revenue outlook. Twitter dropped $1.54, or 4 percent, to $37.42, while LinkedIn lost $51.13 to $201.TRAVEL TIME: Expedia turned in sales results that topped Wall Street’s estimates. The online travel company’s stock jumped $7.72, or 8 percent, to $101.76.SO FAR: Roughly a third of all the companies in the S&P 500 reported first-quarter results this week, and the news was mixed. Falling oil prices and a rising dollar hammered many of them. Analysts expect companies in the S&P 500 will say overall earnings inched up 0.6 percent compared with the same period of last year, according to S&P Capital IQ, a provider of financial information. But revenue is expected to drop 1.4 percent.BAD NEWS, FOR SOME: Ablin said that investors are wrestling with a slew of diverging trends. Recent reports have raised concerns about the economy’s strength. On Wednesday, the government said that it nearly stopped growing in the first three months of the year. To some investors that’s not such bad news: Weak economic growth could lead the Federal Reserve to postpone its plans to raise a key borrowing rate. Record low interest rates have helped the stock market soar since the financial crisis.“Economic data has recently been disappointing,” Ablin said, “but that keeps the Fed offstage.”EUROPE: The only major market open for trading was in the U.K., where the FTSE 100 finished with a gain of 0.4 percent.ASIA: Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.1 percent, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.4 percent. New Zealand’s benchmark rose 0.1 percent. Most markets in Asia and Europe were closed for the International Workers Day holiday.CRUDE: Benchmark U.S. crude oil sank 48 cents to close at $59.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.BONDS, CURRENCIES: U.S. government bonds sank, pushing the yield on the 10-year up to 2.12 percent from 2.03 percent the day before. In currency trading, the euro gained against the dollar, edging up to $1.1235 from $1.1214 the day before.
METALS: In metals trading, gold dropped $7.90 to end at $1,174.50 an ounce, while silver slid 2 cents to $16.14 an ounce. Copper added 4 cents to $2.93 a pound.