Wall Street's three major indexes edged up slightly on Friday as investors digested recent gains while remarks from Federal Reserve officials clouded the outlook about when the US central bank might start cutting interest rates.
Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr said he believes the Fed is at or near the peak of interest rate hikes, but San Francisco Fed chief Mary Daly and Boston Fed President Susan Collins highlighted the need for more evidence of cooling inflation.
Adding pressure, shares of Applied Materials fell 4 percent after its third-quarter report and news the US Justice Department is investigating allegations that the semiconductor equipment maker violated export curbs to China.
The S&P 500, the Nasdaq and the Dow registered their third straight week of gains. For the S&P and the Dow it was the longest weekly winning streak since July. For the Nasdaq it would be the longest weekly advance since June.
"The biggest catalyst for stocks today is that we hit a two month low in Treasury yields," said Robert Phipps, director at Per Stirling in Austin Texas.
While the major indexes had a muted session, Per Stirling's Phipps pointed to strength in more cyclical sectors.
"Because tech stocks are weak today the S&P 500 is hiding strength in other areas of the market," he said, pointing to gains in energy, industrial and financial sectors.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.01 percent, to 34,947, the S&P 500 gained 0.13 percent, to 4,514 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.08 percent, to 14,125.
For the week, the S&P 500 added 2.2 percent while the Nasdaq composite rose 2.4 percent and the Dow climbed 1.9 percent.
"We've come a long way. We need to digest some of these moves and look for what the next catalyst is. Earnings is behind us. The Fed is on hold and is going to be in December. The equity market is looking for guidance," said Jack McIntyre, portfolio manager at Brandywine Global in Philadelphia.
The communication services index was the biggest percentage loser as heavyweight Alphabet fell more than 1 percent. Technology, the second weakest sector was dragged down by Microsoft, which fell 1.7 percent. (Reuters)