(Friday Market Close) U.S. stocks snapped a 5-day winning streak on Friday as worries about Chinese economic growth and a continuation of a partial government shutdown seemed to add to doubts about further positive momentum for the moment.
Still, losses in each of the main three U.S. indices were relatively muted as the selling didn’t appear to pick up momentum, and overall the indices ended the week higher.
Market participants appeared to be selling their protection in the options market going into the weekend, perhaps a sign that they’re not as concerned about headline risk in the market. One indicator of that appeared to be the falling Cboe Volatility Index () even on a day when stocks were lower.
In a bright spot that didn’t seem to have quite enough oomph to move the market higher, General Motors (NYSE:) raised its earnings guidance for 2018 and predicted strong performance this year. An interesting step from the company is that it said Cadillac would be its lead electric vehicle brand.
Buoyed By the Fed
For much of the week, the market has been supported by dovish commentary from Federal Reserve officials that has helped bolster reassurances to market participants. Recently, many investors seemed to have been worried that the Fed might make a mistake and raise interest rates too much even though inflation hasn’t been problematic. (See more below.)
The latest data on that front, in the form of the consumer price index, came in as expected and seemed to show that the Fed does indeed have room to be patient in its plans for monetary policy, perhaps without the need to be as hawkish as the market was thinking going into the end of last year.
The market had also been riding some optimistic sentiment about the potential for a