U.S. stocks fluctuated, with equities on track for their best weekly gain since July, as gains Gilead Sciences Inc. and Pfizer Inc. boosted health-care shares to offset declines in energy.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.1 percent to 1,954.97 at 12:16 p.m. in New York, after earlier falling as much as 0.7 percent. The gauge is up 1.7 percent this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 53.08 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,383.48, erasing an earlier slide of nearly 86 points.
A rebound in Apple Inc. yesterday helped the S&P 500 extend its weekly advance to its best since July. Market swings and rapid shifts in investor sentiment have become more prevalent, with the benchmark index closing with moves exceeding 1.3 percent in 11 of the last 15 days. That includes the biggest rally since 2011 as well as the deepest rout in four years. The S&P 500 has lost 8.2 percent since peaking in July, which was the last time the gauge closed within points of its May record.
Grabbing the most attention is the timing of the Fed’s first rate increase since 2006. Traders remain confident the Fed will raise borrowing costs this year, pricing in a 28 percent chance the central bank will do so next week, down from 48 percent before China’s currency devaluation triggered concerns that the nation’s slowdown will hamper global growth. Odds of a move at the December gathering are about 59 percent.