Wall Street ends week on uptick
Stocks finish seesaw session higher, as investors weigh corporate earnings and the fate of the Federal Reserve's rate-cutting campaign.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Major indexes staged a late rally to finish higher Friday, capping a rather volatile session where investors closely eyed corporate earnings and attempted to gauge the Federal Reserve's next step.
The Dow Jones industrial average (Charts) finished 67 points, or 0.5 percent, higher.
Stocks wavered between positive and negative territory for most of the session Friday as investors sifted through corporate earnings news, hawkish remarks by a Federal Reserve official and nursed ongoing credit market worries.
Keeping a lid on stock gains were comments delivered Friday by Federal Reserve Gov. Randall Kroszner, who hinted that the central bank may not continue to lower interest rates, even if the economy worsens.
"The current stance of monetary policy should help the economy get through the rough patch during the next year," Kroszner, a voting member of the central bank's policy committee, said in prepared remarks at a conference in New York.
Other than Tuesday's rally, stocks have struggled this week, largely due to ongoing worries about the credit market crisis.
Major indexes fell sharply Thursday as more banks took more writedowns on risky mortgage debt.
With commodity prices in check and the dollar modestly weaker, investors also turned their attention to the corporate front, where they were greeted by more troubling news.
The package delivery firm FedEx (Charts, Fortune 500), cut its earnings outlook Friday, citing higher fuel costs and a strained U.S. freight market. FedEx shares finished over 4 percent lower on the New York Stock Exchange.
Starbucks reported strong quarterly results, but the coffee retailer trimmed its fiscal 2008 guidance and reported a decline in traffic at its U.S. stores. Starbucks (Charts, Fortune 500) shares ended nearly 4 percent lower in Nasdaq trading
The tech sector, however showed some signs of strength as Cisco said it would expand its share buyback program by $10 billion. Shares of Dow component Hewlett-Packard gained nearly 4 percent after a Morgan Stanley analyst upped her rating of the stock, saying she expected the company to show growth through 2009.
Market breadth was negative. Decliners beat advancers by 6 to 5 on the New York Stock Exchange on volume of 1.76 billion shares. Losers topped winners by 8 to 7 as 2.5 billion shares exchanged hands.
On the economic front, industrial production suffered its biggest decline in nine months during the month of October, the Federal Reserve said Friday. The reading came in worse than expected.
Treasury prices were little changed, leaving the yield on the benchmark 10-year note at 4.16 percent.
The dollar eased versus the euro, but was narrowly higher against the yen.
In commodity trading, oil prices fell Friday as light, sweet crude for December lost 25 cents to settle at $94.85 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.