Benchmarks gain despite stocks’ scary week

August 31 02:32 2015

Stocks ended mixed in a narrow range Friday as Wall Street closed out one of its most turbulent weeks in years that saw the major indexes swing dramatically and fall into official correction territory for the first time since 2011. The Dow Jones industrial average ended down a scant 12 points, less than 0.1%, to 16,643.01. Finishing up were the S&P 500, with less than a 0.1% gain, and the Nasdaq composite, which nudged 0.3% higher.AP FINANCIAL MARKETS WALL STREET F USA NY

Volatility continued to rule Wall Street as stocks reacted to comments from Federal Reserve vice chairman Stanley Fischer that suggested an interest rate hike next month is still on the table and the Fed’s decision will hinge on economic reports over the next two weeks. Despite Monday’s horrific 1,000-point Dow drop just after the opening bell, all three major indexes ended up for the week. The Nasdaq is in the black for the calendar year, but the Dow and S&P 500 remain red for 2015.

In economic news released Friday, the government reported that personal income rose 0.4% in July as consumer spending gained 0.3%. Wages and salaries jumped, rising 0.5%, the largest gain in eight months. Oil prices shot higher again Friday as U.S. benchmark crude jumped 6.8% to $45.43 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That comes after oil posted its biggest one-day gain in six years Thursday, leaping $3.96, or 10.3%.

Overseas, Asian markets were mostly higher following several days of extreme market volatility and heavy sell-offs in the region. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 2.9%. The Shanghai composite index in mainland China rose 4.8%, adding to its 5.3% gain Thursday. Prior to that rise, China’s benchmark stock index shed nearly 23% over six days of declines. European markets were mixed as London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.9% and Germany’s DAX index dropped 0.2%.