Tech companies power U.S. stocks to solid weekly gain

Damian J. Troise and Alex Veiga, The Associated Press
Published Friday, March 15, 2019 5:25PM EDT

Wall Street finished the week with solid gains Friday as technology stocks notched their best week in four months.

Financial, health care and consumer stocks joined in the market rally. The gains erased losses from last week, when the S&P 500 had its worst week of the year. The benchmark index has now posted a weekly gain nine out of 11 times this year.

Technology stocks had their best week since November. Apple ended the week with a 7.6 per cent gain, its best week since August. Industrial stocks were the biggest laggard Friday.

Investors bought bonds after a report on industrial production showed a second consecutive monthly decline in manufacturing in the U.S. That sent the yield on the 10-year Treasury lower. It fell to 2.59 per cent from 2.63 late Thursday.

Despite the gains, global political turmoil over trade and more still weighs on investors, said Katie Nixon, chief investment officer at Northern Trust Wealth Management.

“There’s so much importance placed on these geopolitical risks,” Nixon said. “They have to be resolved for the market to go forward.”

The S&P 500 index gained 14 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 2,822.48. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 138.93 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 25,848.87.

The Nasdaq composite climbed 57.62 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 7,688.53. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies picked up 3.90 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 1,553.54.

Major indexes in Europe and Asia finished higher.

U.S. stocks have made a strong showing this year, with all major indexes posting gains of at least 10 per cent.

Investors seemed encouraged by reports that the U.S. and China could be making progress on critical negotiations aimed at resolving

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