The major averages closed little changed on Friday as investors capped a strong week of gains amid optimism around a potential coronavirus vaccine and the U.S. reopening its economy. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 2,955 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 8 points to 24,465. The Nasdaq Composite closed in the green up 39 points at 9,324 led by NVIDIA after the company reported positive quarterly results and upbeat guidance.
For the week, Dow gained 3.3% to post its best weekly performance since April 9. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also rose more than 3% this week. The Russell 2000, which tracks small-cap stocks, trounced the large-cap indexes this week with a more than 7% jump.
News about a potential vaccine from Moderna sent equities flying earlier in the week, with the Dow surging more than 900 points on Monday. Moderna said all 45 participants in its vaccine trial had developed coronavirus antibodies. Reuters reported, citing scientists leading the program, the U.S. is working on a effort involving more than 100,000 volunteers to test promising vaccine candidates.
Retailers such as TJX and Gap were among the best-performing stocks this week, bolstered by optimism over states reopening their economies. TJX rallied 13.2% for the week while Gap advanced 8%. Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo all climbed more than 3% this week.
Enthusiasm over a coronavirus vaccine and the economy reopening was kept in check on Friday, however, as tensions between China and the U.S. rose.
Overnight, China released draft legislation over new national security measures on Hong Kong after last year's burst of anti-government protests in the city. That law is expected to increase Beijing's hold over Hong Kong. China also opted against setting a GDP target for 2020 as the coronavirus batters the second-largest economy in the world. The Hang Seng Index declined 5.6% on Friday, while shares of Alibaba declined 6% despite beating quarterly estimates.
U.S. Treasuries closed mixed. The 2-yr yield increased two basis points to 0.17%, while the 10-yr yield decreased two basis points to 0.66%. The U.S. Dollar Index increased 0.4% to 99.77.