US stocks gained on Friday in another volatile session during a week of huge swings that shook the market out of months of calm. During Friday’s session alone, the S&P 500 swung from as high as up 1.5 percent to as low as down 1.9 percent, echoing the big swings of the past week.
The fresh volatility came a day after the benchmark S&P 500 and the Dow industrials confirmed they were in correction territory, both falling more than 10 percent from Jan. 26 record highs. On Friday, the intraday low for the tech-heavy Nasdaq also pulled it more than 10 percent from its recent peak.
Friday’s session marked the latest day of sharp swings in the past week that have pulled stocks lower after a steady climb for months to record highs.
“Stocks are looking for a bottom and trying to find where the selling ends,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird in Milwaukee. “It’s really looking and trying to figure out how low they can go at this point, and there’s not conclusive evidence yet that we know the answer to that.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 84.88 points, or 0.36 percent, to 23,945.34, the S&P 500 gained 14.02 points, or 0.54 percent, to 2,595.02 and the Nasdaq Composite added 35.35 points, or 0.52 percent, to 6,812.51.
Technology and financials were among he the best performing groups. Energy shares lagged as oil prices tumbled.
The sharp selloff in recent days was kicked off by concerns over rising inflation and bond yields, sparked by last week’s January US jobs report.
Equities for years have looked relatively attractive compared to the low yields offered by bonds, but the rise in Treasury yields has diminished the allure of stocks, especially with stock valuations at historically expensive levels.
The yield on benchmark 10-year US Treasuries hovered around 2.82 percent after touching a four-year peak of 2.885 percent on Monday.
“That’s part of this recalculation that has gone on in the market: How do we factor in higher bond yields?” Delwiche said. “And that is a process that is playing out.”
The S&P 500 lost $2.49 trillion in market value since Jan. 26 through Thursday, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Volatility remained high compared to recent months. The market’s main gauge of volatility, the Cboe Volatility Index , slipped 0.77 to 32.69 on Friday, about three times the average level of the past year.