The Dow Jones industrial average barely preserved its record-setting streak, but most stock indexes pulled back Friday as a second day of declines in Asia led investors to take some profits before a long holiday weekend.
The Dow rose 0.50 to 8,370.10 as a last-minute push wiped out the remnants of an early 57-point slide. Though slight, the gain meant a fourth straight record close for the Dow, which before Tuesday hadn't set foot in record territory for six months.Broader measures, however, finally succumbed to some profit-taking after two days of late turnarounds.
Still, most of the declines were fairly modest, and smaller-company shares, the laggards in Wall Street's three-week rally, managed some small gains on the day.
"The market's resilience is remarkable considering the type of week we've had," said Arthur Hogan, senior trader at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.
The Dow, which rose 180.61 for the week, has now gained 670 points in three weeks, transforming an early new year's loss of 4 percent into a gain of nearly 6 percent. The four-session string of record highs is the Dow's longest since a six-session streak last June.
Wall Street was weighed down at Friday's open by another shaky day in Asia, with the main stock indexes in Hong Kong and the Philippines each dropping 3.3 percent. And in Tokyo, stocks fell 2.2 percent amid growing worries that an upcoming stimulus package won't do enough to shore up Japan's economy.
Like they had the previous two days, however, bargain hunters quickly moved to take advantage of the early decline, limiting the day's losses.
"Whenever the market dips, there seems to be enough resilience to lift it back up," said Robert Freedman, chief investment officer for the John Hancock Funds in Boston, noting a report suggesting that the flow of money into mutual funds has picked up since late January. "There's a lot of cash coming in, and fund managers are afraid of missing a move higher."
The Dow's biggest gainers were McDonald's, up 2 1/16 to 53; Caterpillar, up 1 9/16 to 53 9/16; Disney, up 1 5/16 to 111 7/16; and Boeing, up 1 1/8 to 503/8.
The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 4.05 to 1,020.09, and the NYSE composite index fell 1.33 to 531.28. On Thursday, both measures closed at record highs for the seventh time in nine sessions.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index fell 3.92 to 1,710.42, but still boasts an 8.5 percent gain for the past three weeks. Among leading Nasdaq technology shares, Intel fell 1 3/16 to 83 13/16, and Microsoft fell 11/4 to 1571/2.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 10-to-9 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, but advancers held an 8-to-7 lead in Nasdaq trading. NYSE volume totaled 536.39 million shares, the second smallest tally of the new year.
Among smaller-company indicators, the Russell 2000 index rose 1.89 to 454.29, and the American Stock Exchange composite index rose 2.73 to 688.88.
In Europe, Frankfurt's DAX index fell 0.8 percent and London's FT-SE 100 rose 0.5 percent.