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Stocks inch higher as banks and industrial companies rise

Trader Christopher Fuchs on the floor of the

Trader Christopher Fuchs on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. Credit: AP / Richard Drew

U.S. stocks edged higher Friday as gains from energy companies, industrial firms and smaller companies helped the market end a modest losing streak.

Oil and gas companies climbed along with the price of oil Friday while industrial companies recovered some of the losses they sustained earlier this month. Beauty products retailer Ulta and software company Adobe rose after strong quarterly reports. Online retailers Overstock.com and Wayfair slumped as investors worried about a possible price war.

All this week, stocks moved higher in early trading only to shed those gains as the day went on. They broke out of that pattern Friday, even though the gains were modest.

“From an investor point of view, the fact that we haven’t rallied right back to the highs is a good thing,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab. Positive news about the economy has been countered by concerns about rising tensions over international trade.

“The pullback that we’ve been in is pretty much driven by President Trump’s proclamation about tariffs,” Frederick said.

The S&P 500 index gained 0.2 percent, to 2,752.01. The Dow Jones industrial average added 72.85 points, or 0.3 percent, to 24,946.51. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.25 points to 7,481.99. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks jumped 0.6 percent, to 1,586.05. — AP

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