The Dow Jones Industrial Average scored a new record with just slim gains on Friday after another unpredictable day of trading.
The Dow added 0.21%. The Dow had previously enjoyed a record close on Thursday. The S&P 500 slid 0.14%, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.54%.
Banking stocks had lifted the Dow to new records on Thursday as investors bet on reduced regulatory hurdles under a Donald Trump Administration. Financials including JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Action Alerts PLUS holdings Citigroup (C) and Wells Fargo (WFC) rallied over the past few days, but pulled back on Friday. Banks' business operations were closed on Friday in honor of Veterans' Day, though trading remained open as normal. Investors have stayed busy trying to gauge the types of policies president-elect Donald Trump could enact.
"The Trump news... hit a market that was reasonably solid and bounced," said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network. "You could take this as further evidence of the market's strength given that we just experienced an event that was expected to knock it down 5% to 10%, or even more, and instead it rallied. Clearly, there is solid demand for stocks at this point. Plus, as I continue to write, the fundamentals here in the U.S. remain sound."
Emerging markets continued their selloff on fears over the types of trade deals a Trump Administration could implement. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF (EEM) declined 1.5% on Friday to trade near five-month lows. The ETF has fallen more than 7% since Wednesday morning, though remains up more than 7% for the year to date.
Crude oil prices held sharply lower on Friday after a weekly increase in drilling activity in the U.S. The number of active oil-drilling rigs in the U.S. over the past week rose by two to 452, according to Baker Hughes data.
Prices were already under pressure after major oil producers showed production at record highs. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, a major oil-producing bloc, reported an increase in October output to 33.64 million barrels a day. Production rose by 240,000 barrels per day from a month earlier. The increase exacerbates problems for an already oversupplied oil market which has struggled with low prices and weaker demand. OPEC is scheduled to meet later this month in what traders hope could result in a production freeze agreement.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil was down 2.67% to $44.15 a barrel on Friday.
The energy sector was the worst performer in the markets Friday. Major oil producers including Exxon Mobil (XOM) , Chevron (CVX) , Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) and BP (BP) moved sharply lower, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) fell 1.8%.
The case to move rates higher is "quite strong," Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said on Friday. Speaking at the Central Bank of Chile, Fischer said that rates will likely increase gradually, especially as the Fed reaches its inflation and labor market targets. Fischer, a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, also said the central bank's interest rate hikes will likely level off at lower normal levels than historically seen. Markets have priced in a likely December rate hike.
An improved economic outlook helped to boost consumer sentiment in November. The University of Michigan's index rose to 91.6 in early November, up from 87.2 in October and its highest since mid-2016.
In earnings news, J.C. Penney (JCP) reported disappointing quarterly sales. The department store saw a 0.8% decline in same-store sales over its recent quarter, a sharp decline from 6.4% growth in the year-ago quarter. Analysts had anticipated 2.2% growth. J.C. Penney now expects same-store sales to increase 1% to 2% for the full year, half the growth previously expected.
Nordstrom (JWN) exceeded profit and sales estimates in its third quarter. The department-store chain earned an adjusted 84 cents a share on revenue of $3.5 billion. Analysts anticipated earnings of 51 cents a share on $3.48 billion in sales.
Disney (DIS) reported a disappointing quarter for its ESPN business. The world's largest entertainment company reported lower advertising sales and increased costs at its sports cable unit. Disney CEO Bob Iger calmed investors' nerves in a conference call, noting that ESPN grew in 2016 and that the company expects "that growth to continue over the long term." Overall adjusted earnings of $1.10 a share fell short of expectations by 6 cents, while revenue of $13.1 billion missed by $400 million.
Michael Kors (KORS) fell nafter issuing a disappointing outlook. The fashion and accessories retailer anticipates fiscal 2017 earnings between $4.32 and $4.38 a share, below the consensus estimate of $4.58, and a same-store sales decline in the mid-single-digit range. Michael Kors also reported weaker second-quarter results than expected as a decline in tourism and drops in mall traffic affected sales. Same-store sales fell 5.4%.