After failing to sustain an early upward move, stocks gave back ground over the course of the trading day on Friday, ending the session nearly flat. Lingering uncertainty about the outlook for the markets helped to keep trading activity subdued.
While most of the major sectors ended the day showing only modest moves, significant strength remained visible among housing stocks. The Philadelphia Housing Sector Index advanced by 1.7 percent, reaching its best closing level in almost five years.
KB Home (KBH) helped to lead the housing sector higher, with the homebuilder surging up by 16.4 percent after unexpectedly reporting a third quarter profit compared to a year-ago loss.
Telecom stocks also showed a notable move to the upside, driving the NYSE Arca North American Telecom Index up by 1.3 percent. MetroPCS Communications (PCS) and Motorola Solutions (MSI) turned in two of the sector's best performances.
Health insurance, biotechnology, and oil service stocks also saw strength on the day, although buying interest was subdued.
On the other hand, railroad stocks came under pressure over the course of the session, dragging the Dow Jones Railroads Index down by 1.4 percent. Steel stocks also saw notable weakness.
The major averages finished the day mixed, although they all closed near the unchanged line. While the Nasdaq inched up 4.00 points or 0.1 percent to 3,179.96, the Dow edged down 17.46 points or 0.1 percent to 13.579.47 and the S&P 500 slipped 0.11 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 1,460.15.
For the week, the major averages moved modestly lower. The S&P 500 fell by 0.4 percent, while the Dow and the Nasdaq both dipped by 0.1 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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