Friday was a bit of a nothing day for the U.S. indexes as stocks bounced back a tiny bit from a string of losses; most of the gains came late in the session as Fed head Janet Yellen spoke and takeover news hit the semiconductor group. The S&P 500 gained 0.24% and the NASDAQ 0.57%. Yellen said a rate increase may be warranted later this year, adding that an increase in core inflation is not essential before the Fed raises rates. “She gave no hint when the first hike will come and reiterated that even when they come the pace will be gradual. it’s the same old,” said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group. Today’s gains halted a string of 4 losing days this week; the last time the S&P posted losses for every consecutive day from Monday to Friday was in May 2012.
In economic news, the third estimate for fourth-quarter U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) came in unchanged at 2.2 percent. While corporate profits fell, consumer spending was revised higher to 4.4 percent from 4.2 percent, the fastest rate since the first quarter of 2006. Usually second or third revisions of GDP have little effect on the market.Continue reading