Stocks Bounce Back as Energy Sector Shines
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Gains in energy stocks helped the market make a comeback Friday, even after the week's soft housing data was capped by Friday's disappointing read on new home sales.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 34.6 points, or 0.3%, at 13,081 and the S&P 500 edged up 4.3 points, or 0.3%, at 1397. The Nasdaq was higher by 4.6 points, or 0.2%, at 3068, as Apple(AAPL) shares pared losses after a mini flash crash.
The energy sector, along with basic material stocks led the market's gains, each up about 0.9%. Energy stocks moved up as crude oil prices gained ground. May oil futures settled up $1.52 to $106.87 a barrel after expectations of a reduction in Iranian crude imports.
Dip buyers came in during Friday's session, noted James "Rev Shark" Deporre in a RealMoney blog post. "They don't care whether the bears think the market is doomed. They are going to chase the action if they can make a buck and if they can squeeze some skeptics, so much the better."
"The latest rally to new bull market highs this week was once again not confirmed by daily momentum, and we still expect some type of pullback before the last shot higher," wrote Mark Arbeter, chief technical strategist with S&P Capital IQ, in an afternoon note.
The gains came despite some disappointing economic data. The Census Bureau today reported disappointing sales for new single-family homes in February. The bureau said that sales of new single-family homes fell 1.6% to a 313,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate last month from a downwardly revised January rate of 318,000, but was 11.4% above the February 2011 estimate of 281,000. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting a rise of new home sales to a 325,000 annual rate last month.