USA stocks close higher, tech and bank stocks rally

USA stocks close higher, tech and bank stocks rally

S&P 500 measures the performance of 500 widely held common stocks of large-cap USA companies. Weekly moves for equities have been market by continued volatility as investors fret about rising borrowing costs and worries that resurgent inflation may prompt the Fed to hike interest rates at a quickened pace.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which hit a fresh four-year high of 2.957% this week, pulled back to around 2.873% Friday afternoon.

"The basic framework in terms of the economic landscape and earnings have not really changed, although clearly Walmart has driven some fear into the market", said Peter Kenny, senior market strategist at Global Markets Advisory Group, in NY.

Market participants are still largely expecting the Fed to raise rates three times this year, beginning with its next meeting in March.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 166.97 points, or 0.67 percent, to 24,797.78, the S&P 500 lost 14.93 points, or 0.55 percent, to 2,701.33 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 16.08 points, or 0.22 percent, to 7,218.23.

Energy stocks, up 1.08%, also helped support gains, as oil prices advanced on a surprise draw in United States crude inventories.

Industrial shares climbed 0.59%, led by a 3.04% gain in Quanta Services Inc after its quarterly results and a 3.34% rise in United Technologies Corp after the aero parts maker said it is exploring a breakup of its business portfolio.

In corporate news, Chesapeake Energy shares jumped more than 13 percent after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

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Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.17-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.24-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

Expectations for a quarter-point hike at the Fed's next meeting in March are now 93.5 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Volume on USA exchanges was 6.79 billion shares, below the 8.48 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

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