U.S. equities slipped into the weekend on a quiet note, especially compared to how much noise the market has been making of late.
Traders finished the week’s heavy menu of Fed rate-hike talk and developments in Ukraine with just a bite of economic news and little else to digest Friday.
Among the data, the University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment declined for a third straight month in March. At 59.4, it was the survey’s lowest reading in more than a decade.
Meanwhile, a combination of low inventories, higher prices and rising mortgage rates caused pending home sales to drop by 4.1% in February, surprising economists who forecast a gain of 1.0%. The reading took a toll on homebuilders and housing-related stocks, including PulteGroup (PHM, -1.7%), Lowe’s (LOW, -2.9%) and Pool Corp. (POOL, -4.3%).
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.4% to 34,861) logged a modest increase, putting it 0.3% higher for the week. The S&P 500 (+0.5% to 4,543) and the Nasdaq Composite (0.2% to 14,169) closed the week more solidly in the green, up 1.8% and 2.0%, respectively.
Other news in the stock market today:
- The small-cap Russell 2000 finished with a marginal gain to 2,077.
- U.S. crude futures rose 1.4% to settle at $113.90 per barrel amid reports of a Yemen rebel attack on a Saudi Arabia oil facility, bringing their weekly advance to 10.5%.
- Gold futures slipped 0.4% to finish at $1,954.20 an ounce. For the week, gold futures gained 1.3%.
- Bitcoin continued its advance, up 1.2% Friday to bring its gains since Monday morning to 7.8%. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m.)
- News that the House of Representatives will vote next week on a bill that would remove cannabis from the list of federally controlled substances and end criminal measures associated with it lit a fire under marijuana stocks today. The House passed a similar bill in December 2020, though it did not advance in the Senate. Among the day’s big gainers were Aurora Cannabis (ACB, +10.4%), Canopy Growth (CGC, +10.0%) and Tilray Brands (TLRY, +22.8%).
- Tesla (TSLA, -0.3%) rival Nio (NIO) fell 9.4% after the company reported earnings. In its fourth quarter, the Chinese electric vehicle maker reported higher-than-expected revenue of $1.55 billion and deliveries of 25,034. However, NIO guided for current-quarter revenue to arrive between $1.51 billion and $1.57 billion, lower than the $1.66 billion analysts, on average, are expecting. The firm’s first-quarter delivery guidance also came in below the consensus estimate. Still, Mizuho Securities analyst Vijay Rakesh says Nio is “is positioned well for the long-term with solid roadmap execution and new launches,” and maintained a Buy rating on the stock.
This story will be updated.