NEW YORK: Stocks climbed on Friday after a two-day slide, as consumer shares rebounded amid data showing household purchases rose the most in three months.
Biotechnology shares extended losses, weighing on the Nasdaq Composite Index.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 0.5 percent to 1,857.55, paring an earlier gain of as much as 1 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 58.22 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,322.45. For the week, the Dow was up 20.29 points, or 0.1 percent.
The Nasdaq composite rose 4.53 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,155.76 on Friday. For the week, though, the Nasdaq was down 121.03 points, or 2.8 percent.
“It’s been a choppy market,” Mike McGarr, a portfolio manager at Becker Capital Management Inc. in Portland, Ore., said by phone. The firm oversees $2.8 billion. “There has been a very noticeable change this month, away from those sorts of high fliers, and back toward value. It’s nice to see the market coming back to more fundamentally real stories.”
The afternoon slump left the S&P 500 0.1 percent lower for the month. It is still 0.5 percent higher this quarter.
Investors have been selling the bull market’s biggest winners, locking in gains as they assess how much of the recent economic weakness is weather-related and if the political situation in Ukraine will worsen.
The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index slumped 2.8 percent Friday, pushing its loss this week to 7 percent, while the Russell 2000 Index fell 3.5 percent in the past five days.
Consumer-discretionary shares rallied 0.8 percent as data showed household spending in the U.S. rose in February by the most in three months as incomes increased.
Americans were shaking off the effects of the coldest winter in four years as they ventured out to shop, supported by a job market that’s also picking up speed.
Separate data indicated consumer confidence fell less than first estimated in March.
“If consumers go back in and are confident enough to start spending again, that supports earnings and will certainly support the equity market,” said Chris Gaffney, senior market strategist at EverBank Financial in St. Louis. “I feel like we’re forming a base that we can move high now.”
In commodities trading, the price of oil rose slightly and finished the week with a 2 percent gain amid signs of stronger economic growth.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil for May delivery gained 39 cents to $101.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, oil rose 2.2 percent.
Concerns are growing in energy markets about supply from Nigeria, which produces about 2.5 million barrels of oil daily.
There have been reports of sabotage at a pipeline, where leaks have forced Shell Nigeria to halt exports from its Forcados terminal since March 4.