How major U.S. stock indexes fared Friday

How major U.S. stock indexes fared Friday”

USA stocks fell sharply for the second day on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned of an extended period of weak growth and stagnant incomes due to the coronavirus pandemic, dashing hopes of a quick economic recovery.

The combination of trade tensions and weak data had sent S&P 500 down around 1.3 per cent earlier in the session but for much of the afternoon session it oscillated between positive and negative territory.

Economic data painted a grim picture on Friday as United States retail sales and manufacturing output showed record declines in April due to virus-related stay-at-home orders.

Fears of a second wave of COVID-19 infections have also emerged in recent weeks, pouring cold water on hopes of a swift recovery that helped the three main USA stock indexes climb about 30% from their March lows.

"It's the tug of war between the economic numbers being worse than expected and progress on containing the disease being reasonable".

"After that big rally (in April) it makes sense that stocks may pull back to align a little more with the weakening economic data that we're seeing over all", said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist for LPL Financial.

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In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 516.81 points at 23,247.97. Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a gain in energy.

At 6:00 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 131 points, or 0.56%.

The small-cap Russell 2000 outperformed and among its top percentage gainers was Sorrento Therapeutics Inc after the company's experimental antibody candidate showed potential in blocking COVID-19 infections in early studies.

The S&P 500 posted nine new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 51 new highs and 16 new lows.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 7.29-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 5.52-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

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