July 18, 2014 / 11:42 AM / 5 years ago

Wall St. rebounds from selloff; indexes up for the week

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Friday, rebounding a day after the S&P 500 suffered its worst slide since April 10, with the three major indexes closing higher for the week.

Technology stocks ranked among the day’s biggest gainers. Google led the rally. Its stock jumped 4.2 percent to $605.11 a day after the No. 1 Internet search company reported second-quarter results that beat investors’ expectations. Shares of Facebook Inc gained 3 percent to $68.42.

Market participants kept geopolitical news in focus. U.S. President Barack Obama demanded that Russia stop supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine a day after the downing of a Malaysian airline by a surface-to-air missile, which he said was fired from rebel territory. The incident raised the prospect of more U.S. sanctions on Moscow.

Investors also remained cautious after Israel warned on Friday that it could “significantly widen” a Gaza land offensive.

“It seems counter-intuitive, given the ruthlessness with which the market sold off yesterday, but in the broader context, the markets are generating a lot of attractive themes,” said Peter Kenny, chief market strategist at Clearpool Group in New York.

“We have an economy that is expanding,” he added. “We have many data points that support that narrative. We are in the middle of earnings season, and earnings season has given investors reason to believe that what we have seen in the headlines over the last day or two, though very important, isn’t what is driving investment decisions.”

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 123.37 points or 0.73 percent, to end at 17,100.18. The S&P 500 gained 20.10 points or 1.03 percent, to 1,978.22. The Nasdaq Composite added 68.70 points or 1.57 percent, to 4,432.15.

For the week, the Dow climbed 0.9 percent, the S&P 500 rose 0.5 percent and the Nasdaq gained 0.4 percent.

The CBOE Volatility Index tumbled 17.1 percent to 12.06 - a day after surging 32 percent to 14.54, which was its biggest jump since April 2013. The VIX still remains well below its historical average of around 20.

General Electric shares shed 0.6 percent to $26.46 after the U.S. conglomerate reported growth in second-quarter operating earnings that matched analysts’ expectations.

Honeywell International, a maker of aircraft cockpit parts and other electronic equipment, raised the lower end of its 2014 profit forecast range and reported better-than-expected quarterly profit. Its stock gained 1.7 percent to $96.82.

S&P 500 companies’ profits are expected to grow 5 percent in the second quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data, down from the 8.4 percent growth forecast at the start of April. Revenue is seen up 3.2 percent.

Thomson Reuters data also showed that of 82 companies in the S&P 500 that had reported earnings through Friday morning, 68.3 percent beat Wall Street’s expectations, roughly in line with the 67 percent rate for the past four quarters and above the 63 percent rate since 1994.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 17, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

An index of U.S. small-cap stocks ended Friday’s session more than 1 percent higher, breaking a three-day losing streak. The Russell 2000 index popped back above its 200-day moving average of around 1,140, ending Friday up 1.6 percent at 1,151.61.

For the week, though, the Russell 2000 still slid 0.7 percent. It was dragged down following valuation concerns raised by Federal Reserve policymakers on Tuesday.

About 5.61 billion shares traded on U.S. exchanges, slightly above the 5.58 billion average for the month to date, according to data from BATS Global Markets.

Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Jan Paschal

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