The US stock market on Friday capped another week of healthy gains, but it ended on more of a befuddled note than a bang as confusion about a US-China trade war hung over the market.
Stocks wobbled between small gains and losses throughout the day amid conflicting signals about the progress being made by US and Chinese negotiators.
US President Donald Trump on Friday said that he has not agreed to roll back any tariffs, just a day after a Chinese official said that the two sides had agreed to do just that if talks progress.
Stocks and bond yields dipped immediately after Trump told reporters at the White House: “I haven’t agreed to anything.”
However, after flip-flopping throughout the day, the S&P 500 on Friday turned higher in the last hour of trading and closed at a record 3,093.08, up 7.90 points, or 0.3 percent. That was a jump of 0.9 percent from 3,066.91 on Nov. 1 and the fifth straight week of gains for the index, matching its longest winning streak in the past two years.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday edged up 6.44 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 27,681.24, surging 1.2 percent from a close of 27,347.36 a week earlier.
The NASDAQ on Friday gained 40.80 points, or 0.5 percent, to 8,475.31, a 1.1 percent increase from a close of 8,386.40 on Nov. 1.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks on Friday rose 4.87 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,598.86, gaining 0.6 percent from 1,589.33 a week earlier.
“The general tone of the market will continue to be very cautiously optimistic,” TD Ameritrade Holding Corp chief market strategist J.J. Kinahan said.
Even with the conflicting signals on the trade war, momentum has seemed to be in the direction of a stopgap