Stocks Record Small Gains to End Week
After two days of steep losses in the wake of the 2012 Presidential election results, the U.S. stock market managed to eke out a small gain on Friday. Among the data points that helped stabilize the market on Friday was U.S. consumer sentiment, which hit a 5 year high in November. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 4 points to close at 12,815. The widely watched blue-chip index traded in a range between 12,743 and 12,890.
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) added 0.09 percent to $138.16. Volume was heavier than normal with around 172.5 million SPY shares trading hands compared to a three month daily average of 121 million.
The PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (NASDAQ: QQQ), which tracks the performance of the Nasdaq 100, rose 0.43 percent to close at $63.43. The tech-heavy ETF has registered a gain of almost 14 percent in 2012, but remains in a near-term downtrend.
Crude oil was buoyed by better overall sentiment on Friday. NYMEX crude futures, the U.S. benchmark, rose 1.15 percent to $86.07. Brent crude contracts added 2.04 percent to $109.44. The United States Oil Fund ETF (NYSE: USO) climbed 1.37 percent to close the session at $31.73.
Precious metals also closed Friday's session in positive territory. COMEX gold futures were 0.30 percent higher to $1,731.10 while silver futures added 1.07 percent to $32.59. The heavily traded SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSE: GLD) finished the day with a small loss, down 0.10 percent to $167.82.
Treasuries continued their rally on the week, recording small gains on Friday. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) added 0.12 percent to $125.98. The yield on the 10-Year Note was essentially flat at 1.61 percent.
The U.S. dollar was higher again on the day. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, climbed 0.23 percent to $22.18. The closely watched EUR/USD pair fell 0.26 percent to $1.2712 to close the week.
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