After all the upheavals in the stocks this week, the markets closed Friday up sharply to recover some of their recent losses.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke a six-day losing streak by finishing up more than 263 points, or 1.6%, to 16,380. The Nasdaq composite was up 41 points, or 1%, to 4,258 while the S&P 500 was up 24 points, or 1.3%, to 1,887. However, even with Friday’s gains, the S&P 500 was down more than 1% for the week, handing the index its fourth straight week of losses, it’s longest such streak since 2011.
A handful of reports showing U.S. economic growth helped to fuel the rebound. A Commerce Department report showed that U.S. home construction grew by 8.6% from August to September while another report showed that U.S. consumer had hit its highest point since July 2007.
Investors were also reassured by positive earnings on Friday from bellwether companies like General Electric (GE) and Morgan Stanley (MS). GE’s shares were up 2.8% on strong quarterly results while Morgan Stanley gained 2.4%.
Every company in the Dow 30 was up for the day, led by a 3.3% bump for UnitedHealth Group (UNH).
European stocks also showed improvement to end the week with London’s FTSE 100 rising by 1.9% and Germany’s DAX getting a 3.1% boost.
However, despite Friday’s gains, the three major indices all remain down for the week after several days of losses. October has been a rough month for the U.S. markets, which have been hit hard by continuing concerns about economic growth slowing down in Europe and Asia along with fears of the growing global Ebola epidemic. Investors in the U.S. have also shown ongoing concern over the Federal Reserve’s plans to eventually raise interest rates sometime next year.
On Wednesday, for example, the market underwent multiple wild swings throughout trading – during which the Dow fell almost 460 points in one point before recovering somewhat to finish down by just over 170 points.
So far this month, the Dow Jones has dropped by nearly 4% while the S&P 500 has fallen 4.3% and the Nasdaq is down more than 5%.