After two days of steep losses in the wake of the 2012 Presidential election results, the U.S. stock market managed to eke out a small gain on Friday. Among the data points that helped stabilize the market on Friday was U.S. consumer sentiment, which hit a 5 year high in November. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 4 points to close at 12,815. The widely watched blue-chip index traded in a range between 12,743 and 12,890.
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) added 0.09 percent to $138.16. Volume was heavier than normal with around 172.5 million SPY shares trading hands compared to a three month daily average of 121 million.
The PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (QQQ), which tracks the performance of the Nasdaq 100, rose 0.43 percent to close at $63.43. The tech-heavy ETF has registered a gain of almost 14 percent in 2012, but remains in a near-term downtrend.
Crude oil was buoyed by better overall sentiment on Friday. NYMEX crude futures, the U.S. benchmark, rose 1.15 percent to $86.07. Brent crude contracts added 2.04 percent to $109.44. The United States Oil Fund ETF (USO) climbed 1.37 percent to close the session at $31.73.
Precious metals also closed Friday's session in positive territory. COMEX gold futures were 0.30 percent higher to $1,731.10 while silver futures added 1.07 percent to $32.59. The heavily traded SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD) finished the day with a small loss, down 0.10 percent to $167.82.
Treasuries continued their rally on the week, recording small gains on Friday. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) added 0.12 percent to $125.98. The yield on the 10-Year Note was essentially flat at 1.61 percent.
The U.S. dollar was higher again on the day. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, climbed 0.23 percent to $22.18. The closely watched EUR/USD pair fell 0.26 percent to $1.2712 to close the week.
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