March 28 - Summary: Stocks staged a turnaround but biotech still weigh on markets; Nasdaq down almost 3 percent for week; CBS Outdoor, 2U debut; Income and Spending rise; Gold hits 6 week low. Bobbi Rebell reports.
It was TGIF - thank goodness it's Friday with U.S. stocks staging a comeback after a rocky week. Comments from a Chinese official indicating that the country's government was ready to take steps to support its slowing economy, helping turn things around. At the end of the day, all the major indexes closed with gains. For the week: The Dow barely managed to erase its losses. The S&P and the Nasdaq both lost ground. The Nasdaq posting its largest weekly percentage decline since October of 2012. Much of the damage of the week - due to a stalling out of some big momentum plays, like biotechs and tech names like Netflix, which continued its downward trend on Friday. Reuters Markets Editor David Gaffen. SOUNDBITE: DAVID GAFFEN, MARKET EDITOR, THOMSON REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "People are looking for other places to go, and, right now, you don't see sort of a full scale kind of retreat, you know, as you did as the tech bubble burst and other bubbles burst in the past, and when momentum stocks and their charts start to really break and break down, it's a very ugly thing, indeed, and so but before that they can kind of crack a bit and crack a few times and still they won't break down entirely and a person who tries to jump in and go short will find their head handed to them and so, you know, it doesn't appear that it's overall all declining but just that, you know, there is, you know, cracks in the armor." Two new stocks hit the market: Bill board advertising giant CBS Outdoor Americas jumped in its first day of trading, closing above its offering price of $28 a share. CBS Outdoor was carved out of parent CBS Corp as part of an effort to grab more advertising for its billboards. The other debut - 2U also had a good day, with its shares also closing higher. 2U, which builds online learning platforms, raised $120 million. Earnings from Blackberry - still in the red. Though the company, which has lost most of its market share to Apple and Android phones, did report a smaller loss than forecasts. Revenue plummeted, down 64 percent. On the economic front: personal income and spending both rose 0.3 percent in February, a good sign that the weak data earlier this year can in fact be blamed on the weather. But consumers still less hopeful about the prospects for the U.S. economy. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final read on consumer sentiment showed it fell, though it was better than the preliminary report. Gold fell to six-week lows, falling under $1,300 an ounce, the second weekly decline. The improving economic outlook boosted investors risk appetite. And in Europe, stocks extended their rally on Friday, thanks to rising expectations that the European Central Bank may ease policy next week to support the region's fragile economic recovery.