Stocks gained yesterday, narrowing the week's losses as the energy and basic-materials sectors improved and Dow components Exxon Mobil and...
NEW YORK — Stocks gained yesterday, narrowing the week’s losses as the energy and basic-materials sectors improved and Dow components Exxon Mobil and Intel climbed on upgrades.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 83.19 to 10,641.94.
Microsoft, one of the 30 Dow stocks, fell 20 cents yesterday to close at $26.07 a share, down 1.9 percent for the week. Boeing, also a Dow stock, sank 28 cents yesterday to $64.80, off 0.9 percent for the week.
Broader stock indicators were slightly higher. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 10.18 to 1,237.91, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 14.20 to 2,160.35.
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The Dow dropped 0.3 percent over the course of the week, the S&P fell 0.3 percent, and the Nasdaq declined 0.7 percent.
Volume was heavy as options expired, but advances were limited as investors eyed America’s current account deficit for April-June. The trade deficit dipped slightly, but still was at the second-highest level in history and on track to surpass last year’s record trade deficit of $668.1 billion.
Foreign investors continued heavy buying of U.S. Treasury bonds in July, but economists worry that at some point they will no longer want to hold such sizable sums of dollar-denominated assets.
Gains were also capped by the University of Michigan’s midmonth report on consumer sentiment for September. Dow Jones said the survey, which is only available to subscribers, showed a steep decrease, but analysts wrestled with whether consumers would really change their spending habits, or whether they were just distraught by Hurricane Katrina.
The Dow outpaced other indexes because it is more heavily weighted toward hot energy and basic materials stocks, said Ken Tower, chief market strategist for Schwab’s CyberTrader.
“Neither bulls nor bears seem to be making any headway, unless you look at the Dow,” Tower said.
Crude-oil futures dipped. A barrel of light crude settled at $63, down $1.75 cents, in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The market spent much of the week waiting for the Fed; the economic data tended to be downbeat, but not enough to trigger a big sell-off.