By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com — The Dow eked out a gain Friday, as a wave of dip-buying activity late into the close helped stocks claw back losses, though that proved too little too late as the broader market sunk to its eighth straight weekly loss.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.04%, or 8 points and Nasdaq fell 0.30%. The S&P 500 eked out a 1 point gain after recovering from an intraday slump that pushed losses since its recent peak above 20% into bear-market territory.
Real estate, health care and energy helped the broader market recover, with the latter underpinned by a climb in oil prices, which racked up their fourth weekly gain in a row for the first time since mid-February.
Technology also played a role in the rebound as investors bought the dip in big tech, with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) cutting losses to end in the green after falling more than 2%. Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:FB) ended the day up more than 1%.
Consumer discretionary had earlier led a sea of red on Wall Street after quarterly results from corporates continued to flag the impact of inflation just as the Federal Reserve shows little sign of slowing down rate hikes.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said Friday that raising rates by 50 basis points at upcoming meetings was a good plan, and stressed that higher interest rates would be needed to keep inflation under control.
Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) plunged more than 22% after first-quarter results fell short of Wall Street estimates, and the off-price retailer cut its guidance amid pressure from higher transportation and labor costs.
The weaker results come as the other retailers including Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT) reported results earlier this week also stoked worries about the impact of inflation.
Deere (NYSE:DE), meanwhile, reported quarterly results that missed on the top line, and highlighted the impact of inflation and supply chain issues ahead, sending its shares more than 14% lower.
Foot Locker Inc (NYSE:FL) bucked the trend, ending the day more than 4% higher after the footwear retailer reported better-than-expected profit that helped overshadow softer revenue and same-store sales.
Stocks had made a positive start to the day after China’s move to cut a key lending benchmark to support its economy, which has been impacted by recent lockdown measures in Shanghai and elsewhere, eased fears about slowing global growth.
“Investors appear more optimistic this morning after a volatile week as China takes its latest step to bolster the country’s economy,” Stifel said in a note earlier on Friday.
The eighth-straight weekly slump for stocks has some speculating whether a bottom will soon be reached. But experts suggest there is still more pain ahead as investor capitulation has reached the levels of prior market downturns.
“We have been encouraged by the breadth and manic selling activity occurring a few days throughout the recent correction cycle, however, we are not yet seeing comparable ‘capitulation metrics’ relative to the 2018 or 2020 market downturns,” Janney Montgomery Scott said in a note.
“This suggests to us that even though we are in (or close) to a bottom range, we may have to experience more volatility before the markets are more thoroughly washed out,” it added.