US Stocks Trade Higher in the Midst of Washington Drama | RJO Futures

May 19, 2017 9:44AM CDT

U.S. stocks traded higher for a second session in a row Friday, helped by an abeyance in White House drama. However, the main indexes were still on track to finish the week lower.The S&P 500 index added 12 points, or 0.5%, to 2,378, with nine of its 11 main sectors trading higher. Technology and industrial sectors are leading the gains, up 0.6%. Higher oil prices helped lift energy shares.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 77 points, or 0.4%, to 20,741. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 37 points, or 0.5%, at 6,092.For the week, however, all three indexes are looking at losses of about 0.8%.Markets were rattled earlier this week, as investors were caught off guard by the sharp selloff on Wednesday after a report that President Trump asked then-FBI Director, James Comey, to stop an investigation into Russian interference into the U.S. election. Some investors have questioned whether Trump will even finish his term.Investors have increasingly questioned whether President Trump can deliver on his economic stimulus promises amid investigations.This week, political risk has caught up on the market, but it's still unclear whether it has any legs. Whether this latest bout of volatility lasts depends on what Mr. Comey really has uncovered, but there wasn't much new news to report on the story yesterday, which helped U.S. equities to recover. Observers said investors will be closely watching potential developments on the controversy next week. Lawmakers have asked the FBI to turn over the notes Comey said he made from his meetings with Trump by next week. A congressional hearing on the matter is due to take place, at which the former FBI head has been asked to testify.

Economic data and Fed speakers: Once again, there are few data points to distract investors from the political roller coaster. The first-quarter, advance-services report is due at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.


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