Markets finished well today:
▲ Dow: +0.75 percent
▲ Nasdaq: +0.97 percent
▲ S&P: +0.81 percent
▲ Gold: up +0.15 percent to $1,594.60 an ounce
▼ Silver: up -0.14 percent to settle at $28.49
▲ Oil: +0.25 percent
Markets were up because:
Stocks rose for the fourth day in a row on Friday, capping their best week so far this year.
It was a relief for investors after the big drops of the previous week.
Stocks fell in morning trading, with the Dow Jones industrial average down almost 63 points. But they turned around after the government said businesses are restocking their shelves faster than analysts had expected.
The Commerce Department said U.S. wholesale stockpiles grew 0.6 percent in April. That's twice as fast as they grew in March and a sign that businesses are ordering enough goods to lead to increased factory production and sales. Investors had been braced for more sluggish growth.
Oil fell 72 cents to $84.10 per barrel. Sure, it was pushed down by long-term economic worries. But lower energy costs help consumers.
The Dow finished 93.24 points higher, or three-quarters of a percent, at 12,554.20. It ended the week up almost 3.6 percent.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 10.67 points, or 0.81 percent, to close at 1,325.66. The Nasdaq composite rose 27.40 points, or 0.97 percent, to close at 2,858.42.
Nine out of the ten industry groups in the S&P 500 rose. Only energy stocks declined, following energy prices lower.
Markets fell in Asia. Shanghai's stock index lost a half-percent, its fifth day of losses. Japan's Nikkei fell 2.1 percent.
Chinese leaders have been showing signs of urgency ahead of May trade and industrial data due out this weekend that might be even weaker than earlier pessimistic forecasts. The Chinese government cut interest rates for the first time in four years and has reduced gasoline and diesel prices for the second time in a month.
Over the long run, that will put more money in the pockets of Chinese consumers. In the short run it's a sign that the government is worried about growth.
China is a key U.S. trade partner so its growth is important to U.S. companies. Its importance is magnified by the possibility that Europe's economy will go from slow growth to shrinkage, Landesman said.
Major European markets fell, although their declines were smaller after the U.S. inventory news came out. France's benchmark index lost 0.6 percent, Britain's and Germany's each dropped 0.2 percent.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.