US stocks stage big comeback but still end the week lower on recovery fears and Fed tapering

FILE PHOTO - Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Traders work on the floor of the NYSE.
  • Wall Street's benchmarks finished Friday's session in the green, rallying from losses at the start of the session.
  • Still, the S&P 500, the Nasdaq Composite, and the Dow industrials ended the week in the red.
  • Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said he may adjust his tapering view in light of rising coronavirus cases.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Stocks closed higher Friday as investors set aside economic growth worries to take advantage of cheaper prices that emerged during a week in which the Federal Reserve signaled it's moving closer to drawing down stimulus measures for the world's largest economy.

All three benchmarks advanced, marking a turnaround from earlier in the session. All 11 of the S&P 500's sectors gained ground, topped by the information technology group. Strength in tech stocks helped the Nasdaq Composite open in the green and finish higher.

The daily gains helped Wall Street's big benchmarks, which have been setting numerous record highs, pare their weekly decline.

"If you look at a chart of the S&P 500 and just plot the 50-day moving average on the chart, you have a perfect indication of where buyers have come in and bought on literally every major dip in 2021," David Keller, chief market strategist at Stockcharts.com, told Insider on Friday.

Here's where US indexes stood at 4:00 p.m. on Friday:

Said Keller: "The pullbacks so far have been in the 4% to 6% range which is incredibly mild relative to deep market history. That buy-on-the dips mentality has been very consistent and it tends to work until the last one when it doesn't and that's the danger of that sort of approach."

Stocks were throttled lower during the week after minutes released from the Federal Reserve's July meeting indicated that policy makers may this year begin reducing the emergency asset purchases it put in place to help the economy repair from the COVID-19 crisis. Bank of America said it sees the Fed in November beginning to reduce securities purchases which currently run at $120 billion a month.

But Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan on Friday said as the Delta variant of the coronavirus pushes up infection rates that he may support holding off on starting to wind down asset purchases.

"I've got to take that into account, and will adjust my views accordingly," Kaplan was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. Kaplan took part in an online event hosted by Texas Tech University's Rawls College of Business.

Around the markets, Cardano jumped 25% in a two-day surge that thrust ethereum down to rank as the third-biggest cryptocurrency.

China's biggest tech stocks fell sharply after the country's top legislature passed a data protection law that means companies will need to comply with strict rules on collecting and handling people's information.

Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, will add $500 million of crypto to its balance sheet, and allocate 10% of its future quarterly profits to growing its holdings.

Gold edged up 0.1% to $1,781.48 per ounce. The yield on the US 10-year Treasury note stood at 1.23%, down less than 1 basis point.

Oil prices dropped. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 2.2% to $62.32 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, declined 1.9%, to $65.16 per barrel.

Bitcoin gained 4.4% to $48,693.38.

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