The U.S. stock market closed out a volatile week of trading with solid gains for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite.
The Dow closed the session up only 10 points, however, after IBM plunged in the wake of a weak fiscal first-quarter earnings report. Investors snapped up technology names after strong results from bellwethers Google and Microsoft, which drove the outperformance in the Nasdaq.
Despite the gains, it was the worst week for the S&P 500 since last November, with the index falling better than 2 percent on concerns about global growth. Nevertheless, the week ended on an upbeat note as the CBOE Volatility Index gave back a good portion of its earlier gains on the back of investor confidence that the recent pullback will be short lived.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 10 points, or 0.07 percent, to just below 14,548.
The S&P 500 jumped almost 14 points, or 0.88 percent, to 1,555.
The Nasdaq Composite rose 40 points, or 1.25 percent, to close at 3,206.
Energy prices closed out the week with small gains during Friday's trading session. Near the close, NYMEX crude futures were up 0.17 percent to $87.91. Brent crude contracts had added 0.28 percent and were last trading at $99.47. Natural gas rose 0.23 percent on the day to $4.41.
Precious metals were mixed on Friday with gold posting a moderate loss and silver falling moderately. At last check, COMEX gold futures were up 0.60 percent to $1,401.70 while silver had lost 0.52 percent to $23.13. Copper futures had lost roughly 1.70 percent near the close of equities.
In the agricultural complex, corn rose 0.52 percent while wheat had registered a gain of 0.67 percent at last check. Movers in soft commodities included coffee which was up 1.70 percent and sugar which added a little better than 1.50 percent.
Treasury prices were slightly lower on Friday. Heading into the close, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE:TLT) had fallen 0.27 percent to $122.76. The fall in prices pushed yields higher.
The 2-Year Note yield was unchanged on Friday at 0.23 percent while the 5-Year Note yield rose one basis point to 0.70 percent. Both the 10-Year Note yield and the 30-Year Bond yield added two basis points to 1.70 percent and 2.88 percent, respectively.
The U.S. dollar recorded a small gain to close out the week. Near the close of equity trading, the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE:UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, was up 0.22 percent to $22.51.
The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last up 0.10 percent to $1.3062. The greenback soared against the Japanese yen once again on Friday with the USD/JPY climbing 1.46 percent. Movement in other currency pairs was all under 0.40 percent on the day.
Volatility and Volume
Despite only a moderate gain for the U.S. stock market on Friday, the CBOE Volatility Index plunged around 15 percent to roughly 15 to end the week.
Volume was a little heavier than normal during the session. Around 131 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY) shares traded hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 128.6 million.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) surged around 62 percent to end the week after the biotech company announced positive mid-stage data for its combination of VX-661 and its FDA-approved treatment Kalydeco for the treatment of cystic fibrosis patients with a specific mutation.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares added better than 3 percent after the company released its fiscal first-quarter earnings results on Thursday after the closing bell.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) rose more than 4 percent on better than expected fiscal first-quarter earnings results.
IBM (NYSE:IBM) plummeted more than 8 percent on Friday after the company missed both Wall Street earnings and revenue expectations for its fiscal first-quarter.
Restoration Hardware (NYSE:RH) jumped around 16 percent on the session after the company announced better than expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings results.
Celanese Corp. (NYSE:CE) climbed a little less than 12 percent after the company reported strong fiscal first-quarter earnings results.
Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) traded up more than 11 percent on the day in the wake of bullish first-quarter financial results.
Shares of Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT), which has been plunging over the last month, lost another 8 percent on Friday. The company is currently in a proxy fight with institutional investor Audley Capital.
Acacia Research (NASDAQ:ACTG) saw its stock price plunge more than 27 percent after reporting a 22 percent drop in revenue and a 90 percent drop in net income for its fiscal first-quarter.
Air Methods (NASDAQ:AIRM) fell better than 13 percent during the session after delivering a first-quarter profit warning.
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