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Stocks End Mixed as Bond Yields Continue Ascent

Stocks finish mixed, with the S&P 500 posting a fourth day of losses, as bond yields continue to rise on inflation concerns.

Stocks wavered Friday, with the S&P 500 closing with a fourth day of losses, as fears resurfaced that an increase in borrowing costs could stall a recovery of the U.S. economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished flat at 31,494, the S&P 500 declined 0.18% and the Nasdaq edged up 0.07%.

For the week, the Dow added 0.1%, the S&P 500 ticked up 0.7% and the Nasdaq fell 1.6%.

Applied Materials  (AMAT)  was a standout Friday, rising 5.3% after the chip-industry supplier issued a fiscal-second-quarter forecast that was better than analysts' forecasts.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.345% Friday and its steady increase this week has been stoking concern about inflation.

However, the jump in yields also was being viewed as a sign that investors expect an improved U.S. economy.

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Stocks have received a boost over the past six months on optimism about the development and rollout of coronavirus vaccines. Equities also have been buoyed by expectations that President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan will be passed.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNBC Thursday that a large stimulus package was necessary to get the economy -- which she said was in a "deep hole" -- back to full strength.

Yellen also said she wasn't concerned that increased government spending would push inflation higher.

Oil prices declined as some wells in Texas slowly started to come back online after the state was hit by a deep freeze. Brent crude, the global benchmark, traded at $63.03 a barrel, down 1.41%. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.87% to $59.40 a barrel.

Bitcoin attained a market value of $1 trillion as investors and backers including Elon Musk and Tesla  (TSLA)  defended their recent large purchases of the digital token.

Roku  (ROKU)  rose 3.2% Friday after the video-streaming platform company posted a surprise fourth-quarter profit and predicted that first-quarter revenue would top analysts' estimates.

Deere  (DE)  finished up 9.6% Friday after the tractor maker reported fiscal-first-quarter earnings and revenue that easily topped Wall Street forecasts.