Equities Hesitate on Earnings Concerns

Stocks kicked off Friday’s session trading along the flatline as Wall Street digested the release of disappointing consumer data and strong earnings to end a solid week of gains.

The Dow Jones Industrials opened Friday down 51.04 points to 29,372.27, The S&P 500 fled 3.24 points to 3,370.70. The NASDAQ slid 5.53 points to 9,706.44.

Wall Street is headed for strong weekly gains even as investors grapple with a rising number of reported coronavirus cases. The S&P 500 and Dow are each up more than 1% for the week through Thursday’s close. The NASDAQ, meanwhile, has risen 2%. Markets are closed Monday for the Presidents’ Day holiday.

In the economic docket, the U.S. Commerce Department reported that , core retail sales, which exclude autos, gas, building materials and food services, were unchanged last month. The department added clothing-store sales had their biggest one-month decline since 2009.

Concerns over the weak data were partially offset as Nvidia led a number of companies in reporting better-than-expected earnings.

Nvidia shares rose more than 6% after its quarterly results beat analyst expectations. Expedia got an 11.6% boost from its earnings while Roku gained 6.1%.

More than 77% of S&P 500 companies have reported earnings thus far, with roughly 72% of them beating analyst expectations.

China’s National Health Commission on Friday reported an additional 121 deaths nationwide, with 5,090 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

The flu-like virus was found to have killed a total of 1,380 people in mainland China as of Thursday evening after the health commission said it had removed 108 deaths from the total figure due to a double-count in Hubei province — the epicenter of the global coronavirus outbreak.

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury gained a bit of ground, lowering yields to 1.58% from Thursday’s 1.62%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained 72 cents to $52.14 U.S. a barrel. Gold prices six dollars to $1,584.30 U.S. an ounce.

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