Stocks recover slightly as volatility backs off year-to-day highs.
US stocks posted tepid gains on Friday, with tech shares doing much of the heavy lifting, as markets stabilized following the biggest one-day drop since May.
The S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) rose 0.1% to close at 2,441.32. For the week, the index closed down 1.4%.
Information technology was the biggest contributor to the gain, rising 0.8% as a sector. Meanwhile, consumer discretionary stocks added 0.5% and healthcare finished up 0.3%.
Most sectors finished in the red on Friday, with energy falling 0.7%. Utilities declined 0.6% and materials finished 0.2% lower.
A rebounding tech sector dragged the Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ) to higher ground. The technology-laden index closed up 0.6% AT 6,256.56.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.1% to 21,858.32. For the week, it finished down more than 1%.
A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (NYSEARCA:VXX) fell 3.3% to close at 15.51. The so-called “fear index” settled at yearly highs on Thursday. For the week, it gained a staggering 55%.
In economic data, the cost of living rose less than expected last month, complicating the Federal Reserve’s plan to normalize monetary policy. The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.1% on month and 1.7% annually, the Labor Department said in a report on Friday. Analysts in a median estimate called for a gain of 1.8%.
So-called core inflation, which excludes food and fuel costs, also rose 1.7% year-over-year.
The Final Word: North Korea tensions are stoking heavy volatility in the financial markets. Volatility could be in play for the remainder of the quarter as Wall Street enters a historically difficult period. August and September have proven especially difficult for equities.