US stocks end mixed as Wall Street awaits key inflation report

NEW YORK: Wall Street’s major averages finished mixed on Friday as investors awaited a key US inflation report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 169.39 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 33,869.27. The S&P 500 added 8.96 points, or 0.22 per cent, to 4,090.46. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 71.46 points, or 0.61 per cent, to 11,718.12.

Xinhua reported eight of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors ended in green, with energy and utilities up 3.92 percent and 2 percent, respectively, outpacing the rest. Consumer discretionary dipped 1.22 per cent, the worst-performing group.

Data released Friday showed that the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index increased to 66.4 in February from 64.9 in January.

The more closely-watched US consumer price index for January, a key gauge of inflation, is set for release on Tuesday.

US equities have been quite volatile this week as comments from Federal Reserve officials signaled that more interest rate hikes would likely continue and rates could remain elevated for a longer period.

For the week, the Dow fell 0.17 per cent, the S&P 500 slid 1.11 per cent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 2.41 per cent. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq saw their worst week since December.

Meanwhile, US-listed Chinese companies traded lower on Friday, with all the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P US Listed China 50 index ending the day on a downbeat note.

Shares of Baidu and dropped 6.13 per cent and 5.7 per cent, respectively, leading the slide in the top 10 stocks.

Shares of Li Auto and Alibaba Group Holding fell 5.51 per cent and 4.43 per cent, respectively, also among the worst performers in the top 10 stocks.

The Cboe Volatility Index, widely considered as the best fear gauge in the stock market, slipped 0.87 per cent to 20.53. As of Thursday, the S&P US Listed China 50 index, which is designed to track the performance of the 50 largest Chinese companies listed on US exchanges by total market cap, stood at 2,893.42, marking a 0.59-per cent loss for the month-to-date returns and a 12.59-per cent increase for the year-to-date returns. – Bernama