Stocks opened modestly higher Friday amid mixed early earnings news and positive market action overseas.
The Nasdaq rose 0.6%, the S&P 500 0.5% and the Dow industrials 0.4%.
The stock market today could use a positive session — both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 fell in five of the past seven sessions. The S&P 500 opens 0.3% lower on the week and tracking toward its fourth straight weekly loss. That would mark the index’s longest string of weekly declines since October 2014. The Nasdaq enters Friday’s session nursing a 0.1% dip in what would mark its fifth straight down week — its longest chain of losses since November 2012.
Investors will have their eye on homebuilding sector stocks Friday morning, as the National Association of Realtors prepares to release April existing-home sales numbers at 10 a.m. ET. Federal Reserve Board Governor Daniel Tarullo speaks to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in Washington D.C. at 9 a.m. ET.
Oil prices flattened in early trade, after settling effectively unchanged Thursday. West Texas Intermediate traded just above $48 a barrel, up more than 4% for the week. Oil prices often see some effect from the weekly rig count report, which is due out from Baker Hughes (BHI) at 1 p.m. ET. Gold climbed $2 to near $1,257 an ounce, up more than 1% for the week. The dollar eased vs. the euro, but rose sharply against the yen. The 10-year Treasury yield rose a single basis point to 1.86%.
Applied Materials spiked more than 12%. The chip equipment maker’s fiscal Q2 revenue and earnings narrowly topped consensus targets, but management raised its Q3 earnings guidance well above expectations. The stock has been consolidating since mid-April, after clearing a cup base in March.
Yahoo shares fell 2.4% after news reports late Thursday said bids for the search engine and content provider’s core business were generally in the $2 billion to $3 billion range, below earlier expectations. The reports cited unnamed sources.
Farm and construction equipment maker Deere slumped about 2.5%. The company reported its fiscal Q2 revenue and EPS declined less than expected, guided Q3 revenue well below analyst targets, but offered above-forecast full-year revenue guidance. Deere shares have been fighting to climb out of a nine-month consolidation.
Discount retailer Ross Stores crumbled nearly 4% after reporting mixed first-quarter results late Thursday. Earnings topped expectations, but revenue and same-store-sales were below projections. Ross shares had pulled back from a mid-March high and were this week testing support at their 200-day moving average.
Foot Locker dropped about 4% after reporting first-quarter earnings in line with analyst targets and revenue growth just shy of expectations. Management projected a mid-single-digit same-store-sales gain and a double-digit EPS increase for the year.
Other stocks making early moves included Xerox (XRX), up about 2%. Campbell Soup fell 4% after reporting quarterly results.
Europe’s market traded higher Friday, with London’s FTSE 100 and the CAC 40 in Paris up more than 1%, and Frankfurt’s DAX higher by 0.9%. The FTSE 100 and DAX tracked toward narrow losses for the week. The CAC 40 was up 0.2% vs. its week-earlier close.
Markets across Asia posted narrow gains Friday. For the week, the Shanghai composite rose 1.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.7%, and in Japan, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 advanced 1.9%.