Stocks move higher, but are still headed for weekly losses
Stocks were solidly higher in morning trading Friday, but the market is still on track to end the week in the red after three days of steep drops earlier in the week. Investors continue to focus on the possibility of inflation as the U.S. economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
The S&P 500 index was up 1.1% as of 11:05 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite, where the losses this week have been steeper, was up 1.7%. Even with the gains, the S&P 500 is on pace to end the week down 1.8% and the Nasdaq down 2.9%.
Disney fell 4% after reporting lower revenue and missing forecasts for growth in subscriber additions to its video streaming service. Disney had been adding subscribers at a breakneck pace the past year, helped by popular shows like “The Mandalorian” and the pandemic, which kept many Americans at home with little to do except watch TV.
DoorDash rose 10% after after the company said its revenues tripled from a year ago, helped by homebound Americans ordering in.
Technology stocks led the gainers after sinking earlier in the week as investors fretted about signs of rising inflation. Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google's parent company all rose 1% or more.
Investors have been questioning whether rising inflation will be something temporary, as the Federal Reserve has said, or something more durable that the Fed will have to address. The central bank has kept interest rates low to aid the recovery, but concerns are growing that it will have to shift its position if inflation starts running too hot.
Data from Commerce Department on Friday showed Americans kept up their share of retail purchases in April, helped by the stimulus checks that have gone out in the last few weeks. However economists expected retail sales figures to be slightly higher for the month. Sales were up at restaurants and bars in the month, according to the data.
In other economic data, industrial production, which includes output at factories, mines and utilities, rose 0.7% last month, down from a sharp increase of 2.4% in March, the Federal Reserve reported Friday. Auto production fell 4.3% in April, largely because car makers can’t find enough semiconductors. But the output of computers, electrical equipment and appliances, machinery, and metals such as steel all increased.
Bond yields have risen sharply this week but pulled back slightly on Friday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.63% from 1.66% a day earlier.