Stocks Lose Traction Mid-day But Make Final Push Higher Before Bernanke Speech
Stocks started losing steam mid-day and gave back most of their earlier gains but picked up momentum into the close, helping the Dow Industrials close higher for the third consecutive week. After yesterday's deep sell-off, investors returned to pick up bargains, especially among airline stocks where Delta ( DAL ) led the entire sector higher thanks to strong December passenger traffic.
Without the benefit of economic data, the equity market took direction from Fed officials who generally warned of higher rates and more moderate economic growth. The implications of higher interest rates caused stocks to slump, but the mood picked up later in the session as Ben Bernanke prepared to give his final speech as Federal Reserve Chairman.