April 24, 2021

US stocks end volatile week on positive note

By ellen

NEW YORK (AFP) – Wall Street stocks rose on Friday (April 23) to finish a volatile week on a positive note following strong new home sales data.

New home sales surged 20.7 per cent in March, pushing the annualised sales rate to a 15-year high and more than recovering from cooling caused by winter storms in February.

The strong data helped the market shrug off weakness seen elsewhere much of the week, especially on Thursday when stocks fell sharply following reports the Biden administration is preparing a capital gains tax hike.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.7 per cent at 34,043.49.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 1.1 per cent to 4,180.17, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1.4 per cent to 14,016.81.

Stocks still finished the week modestly in the red, but Friday’s gains cut into the losses.

Analysts have pointed to concerns over lofty equity valuations and rising coronavirus cases in India, Japan and other countries.

Among individual companies, Dow member Intel slumped 5.3 per cent despite reporting better-than-expected results. Analysts pointed to disappointment over the chipmaker’s forecast.

American Express fell 1.9 per cent despite better-than-expected earnings. Analysts said the drop in shares reflects disappointment at the weakness tied to business travel and some other areas of consumption that remain sluggish.

Wall Street rallies on strong economic data