How major U.S. stock indexes fared on Friday

How major U.S. stock indexes fared on Friday

The S&P 500 rose 18.68 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,786.24 on Friday to close out its seventh week of gains in the last eight.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 101 points, or 0.4 percent, to 25,675.

Stocks have been rising at a remarkably steady pace for more than a year as investors bask in a global economy that's strengthening. "I think this is going to be a better year for traders because you're going to get some volatility".

Investors have been preparing for a gradual rise in rates, as the Federal Reserve slowly removes the aid it provided the economy following the Great Recession.

The stock market has repeatedly shrugged off concerns through its placid ride to record highs. That makes dividend-paying stocks less attractive relative to bonds for investors seeking income.

Investors have always been preparing for a gradual increase in bond yields, and Hartman said stocks can keep climbing as long as rates do rise at a measured pace.

The market's smooth ride upward hit a bump Wednesday: worries that a jump in interest rates could derail the ascent.

US equities broke key milestones the first trading week of 2018, as the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed above 25,000, 2,700 and 7,000, respectively, for the first time ever.

The losses were steeper in the morning, when the yield on the 10-year Treasury approached 2.60 percent.

A report from Bloomberg News said that China is considering a slowdown or halt to its purchases of Treasurys, which helped push rates higher.

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"Everyone's on edge about waiting for what's to come", even though central banks have promised to take a slow path toward higher rates, said Marina Severinovsky, investment strategist at Schroders.

Technology and health care companies posted some of the biggest losses Wednesday.

High-dividend stocks like real estate companies, utilities and makers of consumer products fell.

The Nasdaq is up 124.50 points, or 1.7 percent. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 10.01 points, or 0.14 percent, to 7,153.57. It credited stronger demand and fares.

Facebook dropped 4.3 percent after saying it would make significant changes to user feeds that will result in fewer posts from brands. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks edged up 1.80 to 1,561.81.

The dollar slipped to 113.07 Japanese yen from 113.14 yen. On the Nasdaq, 1,864 issues rose and 920 fell.

In the commodities markets, gold rose $5.60 to settle at $1,319.30 per ounce, silver added 3 cents to $17.04 per ounce and copper gained 2 cents to $3.24 per pound.

In the commodities markets, benchmark US crude rose 50 cents to settle at $64.30 per barrel. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, rose 6 cents to $69.26 a barrel.

The S&P 500 fell 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,747.

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