In trading on Friday, U.S. market index valuations were mostly higher after volatility stabilized following the Fed’s April meeting minutes Wednesday and improved economic data during the week which raised uncertainty over the timing of the Fed’s next rate increase. For the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 65.54 points or 0.38 percent to close at 17,500.94. The S&P 500 was also higher at 2,052.32 for a gain of 12.28 points or 0.60 percent. The Nasdaq Composite was higher at 4,769.56 for a gain of 57.03 points or 1.21 percent. The VIX Volatility Index was down at 15.23 for a loss of -1.10 points or -6.74 percent.


Source: DJIA, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite. Google Finance.

For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down -0.21 percent. The S&P 500 gained 0.27 percent and the Nasdaq Composite was higher with a gain of 1.10 percent.

Friday’s Market Movers

Retail stocks continued to trade actively in the U.S. on Friday as the sector continues to report numerous challenges. Department stores have reported weaker earnings and outlooks for the second half of the year. Consumer goods stores are showing gains however battles over ecommerce market share are greatly affecting profits. For the week, retailers Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target and Wal-Mart all reported earnings with Wal-Mart leading share gains while Target led share price losses.

Existing home sales reported on Friday showed the housing sector continuing to gain. Existing home sales were up 1.7 percent from the previous month and 6 percent for the year. The seasonally adjusted annual rate is just above consensus at 5.45 million annualized.

In the Dow Jones Industrial Average, stocks leading the index higher on Friday included the following:

E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. 2.08 percent

American Express 1.88 percent

Intel 1.76 percent

The Travelers Companies Inc. 1.63 percent

International Business Machines Corp. 1.61 percent

In the broad market, technology was the top gaining sector as the Nasdaq Composite gained 57.03 points or 1.21 percent to close at 4,769.56 and the Nasdaq 100 gained 47.32 points or 1.10 percent to 4,362.90. The consumer staples sector was lower for the day, down 0.52 percent.

In commodities, gold traded lower as evidenced by the SPDR Gold Trust which reported a loss of -0.16 points or -0.13 percent. The dollar was higher for the day as the U.S. Dollar Index gained 0.04 points or 0.04 percent at 95.35.

Small-Cap Stocks

In small-caps, the Russell 2000 followed the day’s trend higher closing at 1,112.28 for a gain of 17.50 points or 1.60 percent. The S&P 600 closed at 680.89 for a gain of 9.92 points or 1.48 percent. The Dow Jones Small-Cap Growth TSM Index closed at 6,825.80 for a gain of 106.79 points or 1.59 percent. The Dow Jones Small-Cap Value TSM closed at 8,066.06 for a gain of 99.39 points or 1.25 percent.

Other Notable Indexes

Other notable index closes included the S&P 400 Mid-Cap Index which closed at 1,450.11 for a gain of 19.01 points or 1.33 percent; the Russell 3000 which closed at 1,208.08 for a gain of 8.93 points or 0.74 percent; and the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index which closed at 579.89 for a gain of 2.82 points or 0.49 percent.