Drive for Stimulus Propels Stocks Friday

Stocks rose on Friday after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said a large COVID-19 relief package is needed for a full recovery in the U.S. The Dow Jones Industrials gained 82.26 points to 31,575.60, The S&P 500 nicked 1.88 points higher to 3,915.72. The NASDAQ Composite acquired 55.11 points to 13,920.47. […]

Stocks rose on Friday after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said a large COVID-19 relief package is needed for a full recovery in the U.S.

The Dow Jones Industrials gained 82.26 points to 31,575.60,

The S&P 500 nicked 1.88 points higher to 3,915.72.

The NASDAQ Composite acquired 55.11 points to 13,920.47. Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Microsoft all fell.

Apple, up 0.3% on Friday, is down 3.9% on the week.

Friday’s gains weren’t enough to scrub the S&P 500’s losses for the week: The index was down 0.3% for the period as of the latest reading. The Dow Jones has fared better with a gain of 0.5%. The NASDAQ is down 1% since last Friday’s close.

Cyclical stocks posted some of the strongest gains with the industrials up 1.6%, materials, improving 1.4%, and financials sectors ahead 1%. Utilities and consumer staples stocks were among the biggest laggards.

Applied Materials, which makes the equipment used to manufacture semiconductors, gave a better-than-expected second-quarter forecast after the bell Thursday. The shares gained 7% Friday. Other chip-related stocks also rose, including Lam Research, AMD and Nvidia.

Yellen told reports after Thursday’s bell that more stimulus is necessary even as some economic data suggested a rebound is already underway. She added a $1.9-trillion stimulus deal could help the U.S. get back to full employment in a year.

Many on Wall Street agree with Yellen that a large stimulus is needed and that a trillion-dollar package, along with a smooth economic reopening this year, will cause the market rally to continue.

The House of Representatives will try to pass a $1.9-trillion coronavirus relief plan before the end of February, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday. Democratic Congressional leaders may try to pass a package without votes from Republicans.

After a temporary pullback in December, homebuyers returned to the market in January despite record low supply. Closed sales of existing homes in January increased 0.6% compared with December, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Sales ended the month at a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate of 6.69 million units. That figure is 23.7% higher compared with January 2020 and the second-highest sales pace since April 2006.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys lost ground, raising yields to 1.35% from Thursday’s 1.29%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices sank 92 cents to $59.60 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices added $5.60 to $1,780.60

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