Equities Cautious Ahead of Long Weekend

U.S. stocks edged lower on Friday as Wall Street’s strong momentum to start February fizzled.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 35.83 points to 31,394.87.

The S&P 500 sank 0.8 points to begin the week’s last session at 3,915.59.

The NASDAQ Composite demurred 16.68 points to 14,009.10.

The major averages are still on track to post a positive week near record levels, though the strong rally to begin February has taken a slight breather. The blue-chip Dow posted two little changed days this week, while the S&P 500 fluctuated within 0.2% for three days in a row.

The market ground higher to notch records this month as investors remained hopeful for a smooth economic reopening as well as additional COVID stimulus. The Dow has rallied 4.7% in February, while the S&P 500 has amassed 5.4%, and the NASDAQ has rallied 7.1%, this month.

Shares of Disney erased opening gains and traded 2% lower even after the company reported strong growth in paid streaming subscribers and crushed expectations in its earnings report for its fiscal first quarter of 2021. Disney said it now has almost 95 million paid subscribers on its Disney+ streaming service.

Cyclical sectors, those most sensitive to an economic rebound, led the rally in February. Energy is up more than 12% month to date, while financials rallied 8.4%. Materials were also among the top-performing S&P 500 sectors this month, rising more than 6%. Investors also piled into beaten-down small-cap stocks, pushing the Russell 200 up 10% this month.

President Joe Biden said Thursday his administration has secured deals for another 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna and Pfizer, bringing the U.S. total to 600 million. He added the U.S. will have enough supply for 300 million Americans by end of July.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys dipped, sending yields higher to 1.20% from Thursday’s 1.16%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices regained 29 cents to $58.53 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dropped $10.50 to $1,816.30.