Monday, September 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Stock market ends week up

U.S. stocks climbed Friday after a two-day slide, as consumer shares rebounded amid data showing household purchases rose the most in three months. Biotechnology shares extended losses, weighing on the Nasdaq composite index.

H&R Block Inc. and GameStop Corp. climbed at least 6.2 percent, leading gains among consumer shares. Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. rallied 4.4 percent after Morgan Stanley raised its recommendation on the stock. The Nasdaq composite almost erased a 1.3 percent rally as Gilead Sciences Inc. and Biogen Idec Inc. tumbled more than 4 percent, capping the week's sell-off in riskier assets.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 0.46 percent, to 1,857.62, trimming its loss for the week to 0.5 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 58.83 points, or 0.36 percent, to 16,323.06. The Nasdaq composite increased 0.11 percent to 4,155.76, completing the week with a 2.8 percent drop.

"It's been a choppy market," Mike McGarr, a portfolio manager at Becker Capital Management Inc. in Portland, Ore., said by phone. The firm oversees $2.8 billion. "There has been a very noticeable change this month, away from those sorts of highfliers and back toward value. It's nice to see the market coming back to more fundamentally real stories."

Investors have been selling the bull market's biggest winners, locking in gains as they assess how much of the recent economic weakness is weather-related and if the situation in Ukraine will worsen.

The Nasdaq biotechnology index slumped 2.8 percent, pushing its loss this week to 7 percent. The gauge rallied 79 percent in the 12 months through February. The Russell 2000 index fell all but one day this week for a 3.5 percent decline. The measure for smaller companies is down 1 percent this quarter, poised to snap a six-quarter streak of gains, the longest stretch since 1996.

Gilead, the world's largest maker of HIV medicines, sank 4 percent today to $68.55. Biogen Idec Inc., maker of the multiple sclerosis drugs, tumbled 5.1 percent to $294.12.

Lu Wang and Callie Bost Bloomberg News
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