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Stocks Extend Recovery But Close Lower For The Week

Following the rebound seen in the previous session, stocks saw some further upside during trading on Friday. With the upward move on the day, the major averages further offset the steep losses posted on Wednesday.

The major averages close firmly in positive territory but off their best levels of the day. The Dow advanced 141.82 points or 0.7 percent to 20,804.84, the Nasdaq rose 28.57 points or 0.5 percent to 6,083.70 and the S&P 500 climbed 16.01 points or 0.7 percent to 2,381.73.

Despite the recovery seen over the past two days, the major averages still closed lower for the week. The Nasdaq fell by 0.6 percent, while the Dow and the S&P 500 both dropped by 0.4 percent.

The strength on Wall Street came as traders continued to pick up stocks at relatively low levels following the substantial weakness that was seen two days ago.

The sell-off on Wednesday was triggered in part by reports President Donald Trump asked former FBI Director Comey to drop a federal investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

However, Trump flatly denied the claim he urged Comey to back off Flynn in a news conference after the close of trading on Thursday.

Trump sought to reassure Americans he was focused on efforts to create jobs, cut taxes and repeal and replace Obamacare despite the recent scandals that have plagued the White House.

“We have to get back to running this country really, really well,” Trump said. “My total priority, believe me, is the United States of America.”

Positive sentiment may also have been generated by comments from St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard raising questions about the need for another increase in interest rates next month.

Noting the financial market reaction to the March rate hike has been opposite of what is typically expected, Bullard said the Fed’s contemplated policy rate path may be overly aggressive relative to incoming economic data.

Bullard, who is not a voting member of the Fed’s policy committee this year, pointed…

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