S&P 500 Futures Rise Following Volatile Week; Energy Up 1.3%

U.S. stocks extended their broad recovery Friday, as oil prices crossed $50 a barrel for the first time this month.

The S&P 500 Index rose 0.7% to 2,381.73, with all 11 sectors reporting gains.

Rebounding oil prices triggered a broad rally in commodity-sensitive shares, with energy rising 1.2%. Materials stocks were up 0.9% and industrials finished 1.4% higher.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose more than 2% to settle above $50 a barrel in New York.

Financials stocks also outperformed the broader market, rising 0.8%. Telecommunications services and discretionary stocks finished with healthy gains.

Utilities stocks, which are normally viewed as defensive plays, reversed intraday weakness to finish up 0.3%.

Friday’s rally come on the heels of a volatile week in the financial markets stoked by political turmoil in Washington.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 reported its biggest drop in eight months after a memo written by then-FBI director James Comey surfaced. In that memo, Comey alleges that President Donald Trump urged him to end a probe of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned in February on information he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his communication with Russian officials.

A measure of expected volatility known as the CBOE VIX plunged on Friday, a sign that the latest tumult on Wall Street had faded. The so-called fear index fell 17.9% to close at 12.04.

Volatility spiked more than 46% during Wednesday’s selloff. A higher VIX reading is normally associated with risk-off sentiment on Wall Street.

All of Wall Street’s main equity indices finished in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7% to finish at 20,804.84. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.5% to settle at 6,083.70.

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Sam Bourgi is a financial market analyst for economiccalendar.com. He has more than six years of progressive experience in economic and financial analysis, research consulting and sectoral analysis. As a published author in government, peer-reviewed, online and industry sources, he has developed a fundamental approach to the financial markets with a broad focus on stock indices, commodities and the technology sector. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Windsor and Master’s degree from McMaster University.