U.S. equities fluctuated near record levels on Friday, amid signs of consumer resiliency and easing trade tensions. The Dow climbed 23 points to end the week 0.7% higher. The S&P 500 finished flat and notched its fifth straight weekly advance with a 0.6% gain. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.2% to snap its recent 11 session winning streak, but gained 0.9% for the week and ended the session above 9,000.
Six of 11 S&P 500 sectors ended in positive territory. The Consumer Staples group paced the gains after a report from MasterCard’s SpendingPulse yesterday showed sales from the holiday shopping season rose 3.4% compared to the prior year. Shares of e-commerce giant Amazon finished little changed after jumping as much as 1.5% earlier in the session on the heels of record breaking holiday sales. In other corporate news, Apple lost less than 0.1% despite reports of the iPhone maker considering the purchase of Japan Display’s primary smartphone screen factory for about $800 million dollars. Foundation Building Materials jumped nearly 6.7% after replacing RH, formerly known as Restoration Hardware, in the S&P Small Cap 600.
Treasuries advanced with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note down two basis points to 1.87%. In commodities, WTI crude was flat at $61.69/barrel after the official government report from the Energy Information Administration showed U.S. stockpiles fell by 5.5 million barrels in the most recent week, more than the anticipated 1.4 million barrel decline. COMEX gold advanced 0.3% to $1,513.80/ounce, notching its best weekly performance since August amid a weaker dollar.