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U.S. Stocks Give Back Ground But Post Strong Gains For April

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Stocks moved mostly lower during trading on Friday, giving back ground following the advance seen in the previous session. The tech-heavy Nasdaq staged a recovery attempt in morning trading but quickly rejoined the Dow and S&P 500 in the red.

The major averages all closed firmly in negative territory. The Dow slid 185.51 points or 0.5 percent to 33,874.85, the Nasdaq dropped 119.87 points or 0.9 percent to 13,962.68 and the S&P 500 fell 30.30 points or 0.7 percent to 4,181.17.

For the week, the S&P 500 was nearly unchanged, while the Dow and the Nasdaq dipped by 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

The major all moved sharply higher for the month of April, however, with the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 spiking by 5.4 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively. The Dow also jumped by 2.7 percent.

The pullback on Friday may partly have reflected profit taking after the upward move seen on Thursday lifted the S&P 500 to a new record closing high.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq also reached a record intraday high during Thursday's trading but pulled back and ended the session only modestly higher.

A steep drop by shares of Twitter (TWTR) also weighed on the markets, with the social media giant plunging by 3.7 percent.

The nosedive by Twitter came after the company reported better than expected first quarter results but provided disappointing guidance.

Energy giants Chevron (CVX) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) also showed notable moves to the downside after reporting their quarterly results.

Shares of Amazon (AMZN) ended the modestly lower even though the online retail giant reported first quarter earnings that far exceeded analyst estimates.

Meanwhile, traders largely shrugged off another batch of upbeat U.S. economic data, including a report from the Commerce Department showing personal income skyrocketed in March amid the distribution of another round of stimulus checks.

The Commerce Department said personal income soared by 21.1 percent in March after plunging by a revised 7.0 percent in February.

Economists had expected personal income to spike by 20.3 percent compared to the 7.1 percent slump originally reported for the previous month.

The report also showed personal spending jumped by 4.2 percent in March following a 1.0 percent decrease in February. Personal spending was expected to surge up by 4.1 percent.

A separate report from the University of Michigan showed consumer sentiment in the U.S. improved by more than initially estimated in the month of April.

The report said the consumer sentiment index for April was upwardly revised to 88.3 from a preliminary reading of 86.5. Economists had expected the index to be upwardly revised to 87.5.

The consumer sentiment index rose from 84.9 in March to reach its highest level since hitting 89.1 in March of 2020.

Sector News

Oil service stocks have moved sharply lower over the course of the session, dragging the Philadelphia Oil Service Index down by 3.7 percent.

The sell-off by oil service stocks came amid a steep drop by the price of crude oil, with crude for June delivery tumbling $1.43 to $63.58 a barrel.

Significant weakness was also visible among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by 2.9 percent slump by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.

Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) posted a steep loss after the chipmaker reported better than expected fiscal second quarter results but provided disappointing guidance.

Steel, networking and computer hardware stocks also showed notable moves to the downside amid broad based weakness on Wall Street.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index and China's Shanghai Composite Index both slid by 0.8 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index edged down by 0.1 percent and the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries showed a lack of direction before closing slightly higher. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, edged down by nearly a basis point to 1.631 percent.

Looking Ahead

Economic data may attract attention next week, with traders likely to keep a close eye on the monthly jobs report as well as reports on manufacturing and service sector activity, the U.S. trade deficit and construction spending.

Pfizer (PFE), Under Armour (UAA), Lyft (LYFT), General Motors (GM), MetLife (MET), PayPal (PYPL), Uber (UBER), and Kellogg (K) are also among a slew of companies due to report their quarterly results next week.

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