(Reuters) - The S&P 500 rose on Friday, helped by healthcare stocks after President Donald Trump blasted high drug prices but avoided taking aggressive measures to cut them.
Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer each rose over 1 percent while Merck & Co jumped 2.8 percent after Trump in a speech said foreign governments “extort” unreasonably low prices from U.S. drugmakers. His healthcare deputies released a series of proposals to address high drug costs.
“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.
The S&P healthcare index ended 1.47 percent higher, while the Nasdaq Biotechnology index rallied 2.68 percent.
The tech sector slipped 0.32 percent, with Apple Inc dropping 0.38 percent after a nine-day winning streak that saw the iPhone maker edge closer to $1 trillion in market capitalization.
Also weighing on tech was Nvidia, which fell 2.15 percent on worries that a short-term surge in demand for graphics chips from cryptocurrency miners may be undermining the company’s core business with computer gamers.
“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 rose 0.37 percent to end at 24,831.17 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.17 percent to 2,727.72, its highest close since mid-March. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.03 percent to 7,402.88.
For the week, the Dow rose 2.3 percent, the S&P 500 added 2.4 percent, and the Nasdaq climbed 2.7 percent.