December 20, 2014
Wall Street edges up on Intel but posts weekly loss
US stocks edged up today, boosted by bullish news from the tech sector, but major indexes fell for the week as unrest in Iraq kept investors on edge.
Intel Corp was one of the S&P 500's biggest gainers and one of Nasdaq's most active names, but overall gains were capped as investors kept a close watch on violence in Iraq that drove oil prices to their highest since September.
Analysts are worried about the impact a protracted period of high commodity prices could have on economic growth, especially with indexes near record levels.
The CBOE Volatility index VIX, Wall Street's so-called fear gauge, fell 3 percent to 12.18 today. Intel shares jumped nearly 7 percent to $29.87 a day after the Dow component raised its full-year revenue outlook, citing stronger-than-expected demand for personal computers used by businesses.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 41.55 points or 0.25 percent, to 16,775.74, the S&P 500 gained 6.05 points or 0.31 percent, to 1,936.16, and the Nasdaq Composite added 13.02 points or 0.3 percent, to 4,310.65.
For the week, the Dow was down 0.9 percent, the S&P fell 0.7 percent and the Nasdaq was down 0.25 percent.
The week's decline was the first after three weeks of consecutive gains on the S&P 500. For the year, the broad market index is up about 4.8 percent.
Brent crude edged further above $113 a barrel on Friday, up about $4 since the start of the week, on concerns that an insurgency in Iraq could trigger civil war and eventually hit oil exports.
Europe's top share index headed for a weekly drop after gaining for eight straight weeks, with escalating conflict in Iraq hitting travel stocks and the prospect of an early rate hike in the United Kingdom hurting property shares.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 slipped to a one-week low, moving further away from this week's 6-1/2-year high. It was down 0.7 percent at 1,382.78 points by 1051 GMT after falling to a low of 1,381.86, the lowest since early June.
Japan's Nikkei share average bounced off a 2 1/2-week low struck in early trade, spurred by a Jiji news agency report that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to announce the policy regarding a cut in the corporate tax rate later in the day.
The Nikkei rose 0.8 percent to 15,097.84, after earlier falling to 14,830.99, the lowest since June 2. For the week, the index added 0.1 percent, posting a fourth consecutive weekly gain.