U.S. Stocks Rise, on Course for Weekly Gains

By Riva Gold and Lucy Craymer Features Dow Jones Newswires

Yellen, Draghi in the spotlight

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-- U.S. stock indexes head toward weekly gains

-- Samsung shares drag on Korea's Kospi

U.S. stocks rose broadly Friday, putting major indexes on course for weekly gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 65 points, or 0.3%, to 21850 shortly after the opening bell. The S&P 500 rose 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.4%.

The moves came ahead of speeches later in the day from the heads of the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank at the annual Jackson Hole gathering of central bankers. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will deliver a speech on financial stability and ECB President Mario Draghi will hold a luncheon address a few hours later.

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While no major policy announcements are anticipated by investors and implied volatility in markets is fairly low, most will be watching their comments closely.

"We expect that the ECB will remain accommodative, and [Mr. Draghi] has to say that to limit the upside on the euro and limit the risk on economic growth," said Philippe Waechter, chief economist at Natixis Asset Management.

Should Mr. Draghi not say anything to that effect, the market could take that as a cue to keep buying the euro, he said.

The euro was last up 0.2% the dollar after climbing around 12% this year as political risks have cleared just as the eurozone economy has strengthened.

Investors currently price just a 40% chance of a rate rise in the U.S. by the end of the year, according to Fed-fund futures tracked by CME Group, and a 38% chance that rates will be unchanged in August 2018, well below the Fed's official projections.

Ms. MacDonald at Bessemer Trust said she thinks there might be room for more of a hawkish surprise from the Fed this weekend, in light of current market pricing.

"Given that inflation has been so low, it is reasonable to expect the Fed will be very measured," she said. But most readings suggest the economy is in good shape, and there is a chance Ms. Yellen could discuss current financial conditions, implying higher rates, she said.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 edged up 0.3% as a climb in the banking, auto and mining sectors offset losses in shares of retailers.

Stocks in the Asia mostly rose, with Japan's Nikkei Stock Average climbing 0.5%, buoyed by a rally in shares of Yamaha Motor Co., Toyota Motor Co. and Sony Corp. Still, the Nikkei logged its sixth straight weekly decline.

The Shanghai Composite Index jumped 1.8% on Friday, while South Korea's Kopsi edged up 0.1%, weighed down by declines in shares of Samsung Electronics Co. Samsung's de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong, was found guilty of bribing South Korea's president and sentenced to five years in prison on Friday.

Akane Otani contributed to this article.

Write to Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com and Lucy Craymer at Lucy.Craymer@wsj.com

-- Yellen, Draghi in the spotlight

-- U.S. stock indexes head toward weekly gains

-- Samsung shares drag on Korea's Kospi

U.S. stocks rose broadly Friday, putting major indexes on course for weekly gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 92 points, or 0.4%, to 21875. The S&P 500 rose 0.5% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.4%.

Major indexes' moves were muted most of the week -- something traders attributed to the dearth of major economic reports on the calendar and a lull in trading toward the end of August.

The number of shares changing hands over a full session of trade on exchanges owned by the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq fell to their lowest level of 2017 on Wednesday, and hovered below average levels the rest of the week.

Still, while major indexes largely trudged along, corporate news continued to drive swings in individual sectors.

Shares of consumer-staples companies in the S&P 500 lagged behind, on course to end the week with losses, after disappointing earnings pulled shares of J.M. Smucker and Hormel Foods lower on Thursday.

Food retailers also suffered, with General Mills, Kellogg and Campbell Soup down about 3% apiece for the week after Amazon.com said Thursday that it planned to cut prices of top-selling grocery staples at Whole Foods after its deal to acquire the chain closes.

"Investors are sorting out the winners and losers, and you see that clearly in the battle in Amazon versus traditional retailers," said Stephen Rigali, executive vice president at Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management.

Investors were also monitoring addresses from central bankers at an annual gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyo., including Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.

U.S. stocks extended gains Friday, while government bonds edged higher, after Ms. Yellen focused on financial regulation in her address -- offering no comment on the economic outlook or the direction of monetary policy.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note was recently at 2.175%, according to Tradeweb, compared with 2.194% on Thursday. Yields fall as bond prices rise.

The dollar pulled back, with the WSJ Dollar Index -- a measure of the dollar against a basket of 16 currencies -- falling 0.4%. The index has fallen more than 7% this year as a string of lukewarm economic data has left investors betting the Fed won't rush to raise rates.

Higher rates tend to make the dollar more attractive to yield-seeking investors while weakening demand for government bonds.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 edged up 0.3% as a climb in the banking, auto and mining sectors offset losses in shares of retailers.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average climbed 0.5%, buoyed by a rally in shares of Yamaha Motor Co., Toyota Motor Co. and Sony Corp. The Nikkei logged its sixth straight weekly decline.

The Shanghai Composite Index jumped 1.8% on Friday, while South Korea's Kopsi edged up 0.1%, weighed down by declines in shares of Samsung Electronics Co. Samsung's de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong, was found guilty of bribing South Korea's president and sentenced to five years in prison on Friday.

Write to Akane Otani at akane.otani@wsj.com and Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 25, 2017 11:13 ET (15:13 GMT)