US stocks post small gains, major indexes up for the week

Stocks are closing slightly higher on Wall Street Friday, as technology shares rise along with lower-risk sectors. The major stock indexes finished with their second straight weekly gains. Trading was more cautious on Wall Street, following China’s report Thursday of a surge in cases of a new virus that investors feared could crimp global economic growth. The S&P 500 index rose 0.2% to 3,380. The Nasdaq composite gained 0.2% to 9,731. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 25 points, or 0.1%, to 29,398. Smaller company stocks finished lower. Bonds rose and yields fell.

THÏS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below:

Stocks headed lower in afternoon trading on Wall Street Friday, erasing modest early gains.

Despite the market’s downward tilt, the S&P 500 index was still on track for a second straight weekly gain.

Trading has been more subdued and cautious on Wall Street, following China’s report Thursday of a surge in cases of a new virus that raised fresh concerns about global economic growth.

Investors had largely set aside uncertainty about the potential economic fallout from the outbreak the past two weeks. Stocks ended lower on Thursday for only the second time this month. Earlier in the week, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq set all-time highs three days in a row.

With U.S. financial markets scheduled to be closed Monday for the President’s Day holiday, it’s likely some traders were looking to take some profits now in order to get ahead of potential negative headlines about the virus over the long weekend, said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.

“We’re seeing gravitation toward the more defensive sectors within the S&P, like utilities, real estate and consumer staples,” he said.

Auto manufacturers, retailers and other companies that rely on consumer spending were among the decliners. Ford

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