The Nasdaq Composite Index closed above 16,000 points for the first time on Friday, in its second-straight record finish powered by technology stocks, while pandemic jitters sent the Dow to its fourth losing session in the last five.
Both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 index scored a winning week, up 1.2 percent and 0.3 percent respectively, after last week's declines snapped a five-week run of higher finishes.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's second-successive weekly loss – this one of 1.4 percent – wiped out the last of its November gains, extending the index's drop from a November 8 record high to 2.3 percent.
Friday's fall was caused by banking, energy and airline stocks slumping on fears that European countries, battling a resurgence of Covid-19 cases, could follow Austria in moving towards a full lockdown.
Carriers including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines, and cruiseliners Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Corp all dropped between 0.6 percent and 2.8 percent.
"It's a normal time to take risk off. And in this case, there's just so much liquidity that the market doesn't go down – just people take risk off by going into safe havens," said Jay Hatfield, chief executive of Infrastructure Capital Management in New York.
Falling yields and safe-haven demand supported major technology stocks, which in turn lifted the Nasdaq.
FAANG stocks, which have largely persevered through economic shocks since 2020, traded broadly higher. Netflix gained along with other stay-at-home stocks.
Chipmaker Nvidia rose 4.1 percent to its third straight closing high, and the Philadelphia semiconductor index.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.75 percent, to 35,602; the S&P 500 lost 0.14 percent, at 4,698; and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.4 percent, to 16,057.
The S&P 500 gyrated on Friday before slipping into negative territory, after a week in which retailers pushed it to a record finish the previous day. (Reuters)