U.S. stocks edged higher on Friday even as Covid-19 infections continue to surge.
The U.S. stock market traded mostly higher on Friday, as the major indices wrapped up one of their best weeks of 2020.
Wall Street’s major indices diverged, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) falling 8.96 points, or 0.04%, to 24,465.16.
The broad S&P 500 Index (SPY) of large-cap stocks gained 0.2% to close at 2,955.45. Real estate, utilities and communication services were among the gainers. Energy and financials companies posted losses.
Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ) rallied 0.4% to end at 9,324.59.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were up roughly 3% for the week while the Dow posted its biggest weekly gain since April 9.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VXX), commonly known as the VIX, declined 3.5% to 28.50. The so-called “fear index” trades on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average.
Oil prices were also under pressure on Friday over doubts about how quickly fuel demand will recover post-pandemic. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark for U.S. crude futures declined 60 cents, or 1.8%, to $33.32 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international futures benchmark, fell 85 cents, or 2.4%, to $35.21 a barrel.
Precious metals were higher across the board, with June gold futures peaking at $1,742.00 a troy ounce. The yellow metal settled up $13.00, or 0.8%, at $1,734.90. Silver futures rose 28 cents, or 1.6%, to $17.64 a troy ounce.
The Final Word: The coronavirus caseload is fast approaching 5.2 million, with roughly a third of that total in the United States. Russia and Brazil have emerged as pandemic hot spots with more than 300,000 cases each.