New York: US stocks reversed earlier losses to finish higher even after data showed a record slump in the country's retail sales.
On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 60.08 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 23,685.42. The 30-stock average dropped more than 270 points earlier in the session, Xinhua news agency reported.
The S&P 500 was up 11.20 points, or 0.39 per cent, to end at 2,863.70. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 70.84 points, or 0.79 per cent, to 9,014.56.
Six of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors closed higher, with communication services and consumer discretionary up 1.26 per cent and 1.06 per cent, respectively, outpacing the rest. Utilities fell 1.41 per cent, the worst-performing group.
US retail sales sank 16.4 per cent in April, the Commerce Department reported on Friday, worse than forecasts of a 12 per cent drop. It is the sharpest decrease in retail sales on record as the COVID-19 pandemic forced Americans to stay at home and many businesses to close.
On other data front, the preliminary reading of US consumer-sentiment survey edged up to 73.7 in May from 71.8 in April, the University of Michigan said Friday. Economists had forecast a small decline.