Stocks Mixed; Wal-Mart Tumbles, Burger King Jumps
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Major U.S. stock averages were mixed Friday after the Dow turned positive in the final minutes of trading. Investors digested stronger-than-expected consumer sentiment and New York manufacturing data and awaited the results of the weekend G-20 meeting.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average tacked on 8 points, or 0.1%, to 13,982. The blue-chip index is up 4.9% from its 2013 closing low Jan. 8. The Dow closed off 0.1% for the week.
Wal-Mart shares dove 2.2% Friday as Bloomberg News reported an internal email from the company that said February sales have been "a total disaster."
Most sectors across the broader market traded lower. The basic materials and energy sectors drifted down. Consumer-cyclical and consumer non-cyclical sectors led gainers.
Volumes totaled 3.82 billion shares on the Big Board and reached 1.85 billion shares on the Nasdaq. Decliners overshadowed advancers incrementally on the New York Stock Exchange, and by a 1.1-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
Adam Sarhan, founder and CEO of Sarhan Capital, said "the markets had a big run, and at this stage of the game we're simply pausing to digest that move, which is very healthy. The fact that we're not pulling back is a subtle, yet very important, signal of strength. ... If this market pulls back, it deserves a bullish benefit of the doubt."
Sarhan said that the stock market looks very healthy both on the surface, looking at the major averages, and underneath, where there's been many "mini" industry or sector rotations.
Sarhan explained that groups that were underperforming are now outperforming the broader market, while leading performers such as financials remain strong but are now stalling a bit. Sarhan also noted that the housing sector remains strong and the oil sector popped this week.
Major U.S. stock averages ended little changed Thursday amid a number of high-profile corporate deals and better-than-expected jobs data.
A number of U.S. economic data points were released Friday morning, most of them positive.
The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index showed a reading of 76.3 for February, which was stronger than the expected 73.5 and above the previous 73.8.
Capital Economics said that consumer confidence likely improved on a mixture of better labor market headlines and the continued rally in stock markets.
The New York Empire State manufacturing survey showed a reading of 10 for February, above expectations for a flat read and up from negative 7.8 in the prior month.