Stocks ended the week on a lacklustre note on Friday, with major U.S. indexes surrendering some of their earlier gains despite another round of strong quarterly corporate results.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 13,029.26, up 65.16 points or 0.5 per cent – after showing a triple-digit gain earlier in the day. The broader S&P 500 closed at 1378.53, up 1.61 points or 0.1 per cent, but off nearly 9 points from its earlier high. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index closed at 12,147.28, down 6.41 points or less than 0.1 per cent.
Apple again resumed the role of being one of the big drags on the U.S. benchmark index, falling 2.5 per cent and bringing its slump to 11 per cent from its record intraday high. That conforms to what some observers call a correction, and raises the anxiety level over the company’s quarterly results, expected after markets close on Tuesday.
What makes Apple’s slide even more confounding is that it comes as the broader market has been enjoying strong earnings results that have generally topped analysts’ expectations. Microsoft Corp. rose 4.6 per cent after reporting better-than-expected results on Thursday, after markets closed. General Electric Co. rose 1.2 per cent after beating earnings estimates, and McDonald’s Corp. rose 0.7 per cent after reporting that sales at stores open for at least one year rose 7.3 per cent, beating forecasts.
The moves follow a mixed picture in Europe. There, Spanish borrowing costs resumed their upward trend, with the yield on the government 10-year bond rising to 5.91 per cent. However, the move comes with some relief, as the Group of 20 nations agreed on Friday to boost the International Monetary Fund’s firewall by $400-billion (U.S.), giving the IMF more capacity for containing Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis.
In Canada, the TSX was held back by materials and financials, but at least the benchmark index rose slightly for the week, breaking a seven-week losing streak. Barrick Gold Corp. fell 1.9 per cent, Bank of Nova Scotia fell 0.5 per cent and Manulife Financial Corp. fell 1.1 per cent.
However, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. rose 0.6 per cent after its quarterly earnings surged to 82 cents a share from 20 cents a share last year, in line with expectations.