The S&P 500 edged higher on Friday, on track for its best week since November 2020, as investors digested the Federal Reserve’s move to raise interest rates and surveyed developments in Ukraine.
The broad U.S. stock index rose 0.1% after three straight days of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3%, or about 98 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.8%.
The S&P 500 is on track to gain 5% for the week, while the Nasdaq Composite is up 6.9% for the week.
As investors assess the potential impact of the Ukraine war on the U.S. economy, they say the company’s fundamentals remain strong. Investors said the recent rise in oil prices could dampen sentiment and spark more worries about inflation.
“Sentiment remains fragile and despite the gains over the past two weeks, the risk of further escalation remains a real concern,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.
Oil prices hovered at high levels, with Brent rising 0.1% after rising more than 8% on Thursday. The global benchmark traded at $106.77 a barrel. Traders remained concerned about reduced oil supplies due to prolonged sanctions on Russia amid signs that the conflict could linger.
Ceasefire talks between Moscow and Kyiv have made no progress, Russian and U.S. officials said on Thursday. President Biden, who spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday, is expected to try to prevent Beijing from supporting Russia in the war in Ukraine.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to 2.146% on Friday from 2.192% on Thursday, reversing direction after four straight days of gains. As prices rise, yields fall.
Among individual stocks, FedEx fell 4.7% as it reported lower shipping volumes and said profit margins were under pressure.
Overseas, the pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.2%.
Russian stock markets remain closed. The country’s central bank has not said whether it will open next week. The central bank kept its main policy rate at 20%. The ruble gained 0.7 percent against the dollar, trading around 105 rubles to $1, after the Russian government on Thursday avoided default by paying coupons on dollar-denominated sovereign bonds.
“People were surprised as the market prepared for a technical default in Russia,” said Allianz chief economist Ludovic Subran, adding that this boosted the currency.
Russian government bonds also rose. Bonds due next year are trading at around 55 cents, up from 25 cents earlier this week, according to AdvantageData.
In Asia, most major benchmarks rose. Chinese stocks were mixed, with the Shanghai Composite rising for a third straight session and extending a signal of support for capital markets from policymakers in Beijing earlier this week. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.4% on Friday but still closed the week up more than 4%.
– Karen Langley contributed to this article.
Write to Anna Hirtenstein at [email protected]
Correction and Zoom European stocks begin trading at 4 am ET. An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the move through Thursday’s close as happening Friday morning.
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