By Noel Randewich
Johnson & Johnson
"They've walked the tightrope between cost savings for the American people and maximizing profits for publicly traded healthcare stocks," said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Also weighing on tech was Nvidia
"Tech is giving back some of its gains. Market participants are not making aggressive bets after the week we've had, heading into the weekend," said Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at SunTrust Advisory Services in Atlanta. "We're in a holding pattern today, digesting the strong gains of the week."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 0.37 percent to end at 24,831.17 points, while the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 0.17 percent to 2,727.72, its highest close since mid-March. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> slipped 0.03 percent to 7,402.88.
During Friday's session, the Dow edged above 100-day moving average for the first time since April 18, following the S&P 500's similar move a day earlier. Some traders believe such developments mean the market is likely to move higher.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 5.8 billion shares, light compared with the 6.6 billion-share average over the last 20 trading days.
Due to increased expectations for corporate profits and a dip in stock prices since January, the S&P 500 is now trading at 16 times expected earnings, its lowest multiple in two years, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream.
"We have very strong fundamentals from an earnings perspective and valuations are looking a bit more reasonable than they were late last year," said Bill Northey, senior vice president at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.24-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.23-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 30 new 52-week highs and three new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 137 new highs and 51 new lows.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)