U.S. stock benchmarks Friday morning were edging slightly higher and looking to maintain strong weekly gains as investors weighed positioning heading into the weekend, amid the continuing spread of COVID-19, the illness derived from the novel coronavirus that reportedly originated in Wuhan, China last year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.02% traded 18 points, or 0.1%, lower at 29,403, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.15% gained 0.1% at 3,3766, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.31% climbed 0.2% at 9,727. For the week, the Dow and S&P 500 were on track for a weekly gain of at least 1%, while the Nasdaq was on pace for a gain of more than 2% over the period. China’s National Health Commission reported 5,090 new confirmed cases in mainland China, bringing the total to 63,851. The number of new cases jumped sharply on Thursday after a change in the government’s counting method. In economic news, retail sales rose 0.3% in January, the government said, matching the MarketWatch consensus forecast. Import prices rose 0.2% during the month, according to a separate government report, and have gained 0.3% in the past 12 months, while industrial production fell 0.3% in January, marking the fourth decline in the past five months. In company news, Canopy Growth Corp.’s U.S.-listed stock WEED, +14.41% surged Friday after reporting a narrower-than-expected fiscal third-quarter loss.
S&P 500 and Nasdaq edge higher in early trade to end a week colored by developments in coronavirus
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