Finance

Dow posts best week since early April as investors look to economic reopening

NYSE Trader smile happyJohannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

  • US stocks closed mixed on Friday, but the Dow Jones industrial average still posted its best week since the five-day period ended April 10.
  • Investors were encouraged throughout the week as all 50 states relaxed some of their coronavirus-induced lockdown restrictions ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.
  • Stocks slumped in early trading following signs that China’s economic recovery may be more fragile than hoped.
  • Tensions between the US and China flared again after Beijing said it would impose new national-security legislation for Hong Kong.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices slumped as much as 9% amid broader risk-off sentiment before settling roughly 1.5% lower.
  • Read more on Business Insider.

US stocks ended Friday mixed, but the Dow Joens industrial average still turned in its best week since early April. The gains came as investor optimism over a US economic reopening counterbalanced renewed China concerns, capping off a volatile week of trading.

Stocks dipped in early Friday trading following signs that China’s economic recovery may not be as strong as hoped. China’s government pulled its annual target for economic growth for the first time in decades because of uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic.

Renewed tensions between Washington and Beijing also affected sentiment. China proposed new security legislation for Hong Kong that could threaten the financial hub and cause further issues with the US. On Thursday, President Donald Trump said the US would react strongly if China were to enact the legislation.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET market close on Friday:

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Later, major indexes were led higher by gains of popular tech stocks including Facebook and Apple. The drugmaker Moderna climbed roughly 5% after Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top White House health adviser, said he was “cautiously optimistic” about recent data from a trial of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Dr. Fauci also said that now is the time to reopen the US economy, albeit with significant social-distancing precautions. All 50 states have eased at least some coronavirus-lockdown restrictions ahead of a long weekend. Markets will be closed on Monday for Memorial Day in the US.

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Oil prices slumped, snapping a six-day winning streak. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell as much as 9.4%, to $30.72 per barrel, before paring those losses to roughly 1.5% at settlement. Brent crude fell 2.3%, to $35.23 per barrel.

“Although investors have been willing to look past the gloomy economic data so far, in the hope that the worst of the global pandemic has passed, such a view might be shattered if the barbs traded between the world’s two largest economies actually translate into actual policy action,” Han Tan, a market analyst at FXTM, told Business Insider.

Earnings season continued as well. Shares of the tractor-maker Deere & Company rose after the company released better-than-expected earnings results. Hewlett Packard fell after the tech giant reported an $821 million loss.

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