U.S. Stocks Rise, Notch Weekly Gains

By Akane Otani and Riva Gold Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. stock indexes notch weekly gains

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-- S&P 500 consumer staples sector ends week lower

-- Bond yields, dollar fall after Yellen comments

Broad advances across sectors helped offset a slide in retail stocks, lifting the S&P 500 to its first weekly gain in three weeks.

Major indexes' moves were muted most of the week -- something investors and analysts 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 for the year the rest of the week.

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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, ending the week down 1%, after disappointing earnings pulled shares of J.M. Smucker and Hormel Foods lower on Thursday.

Food retailers also suffered 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.

On Friday, General Mills fell 66 cents, or 1.2%, to $55.02, Kellogg fell 20 cents, or 0.3%, to 67.71 and Campbell Soup shed 1.08, or 2.1%, to 51.40. All three stocks ended the week down more than 3% apiece.

"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.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 30.27 points, or 0.1%, to 21813.67 on Friday, paring gains after rising more than 100 points earlier in the session. The blue-chip index advanced 0.6% for the week.

The S&P 500 inched up 4.08 points, or 0.2%, to 2443.05 on Friday, notching a 0.7% weekly gain. The Nasdaq Composite fell 5.68 points, or 0.1%, to 6265.64, but ended the week 0.8% higher after four consecutive weeks of declines.

U.S. stocks and government bond prices extended gains Friday after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen offered few new clues on the path of monetary policy at the central bank's annual retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note settled at 2.169%, 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 0.6%. 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.

Ms. Yellen's failure to address the possibility of interest-rate increases weighed on the dollar while driving bonds higher, analysts said. Higher rates tend to make the dollar more attractive to yield-seeking investors while weakening demand for government bonds.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.1%, posting its fourth weekly decline in six weeks, after declines in shares of travel and leisure companies dragged the index lower Friday.

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 day's moves weren't enough to offset declines from the rest of the week: the Nikkei logged its sixth straight weekly loss.

U.S. crude for October delivery rose Friday, recouping some of its losses from earlier in the week, as investors attempted to gauge the impact of a major hurricane hurtling toward the Texas coast. The storm is expected to disrupt operations at refiners and ports in its path, analysts said.

Crude rose 0.9% to $47.87 for the day, but ended the week with a 1.6% loss.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 25, 2017 16:47 ET (20:47 GMT)