No big moves, but plenty of winners.
That sums up Friday’s trading among regional stocks, and that’s been the story line all week.
H&R Block ended the trading sessioni with a gain of 1 percent, while big-local plays like Sprint, up 0,7 percent, and Waddell & Reed, up 0.8 percent, held up through the day.
On the loser side of the ledger, Inergy lost about 1 percent, Ferrellgas Partners lost 1.4 percent, and O’Reilly Automotive lost 0.4 percent.
On Wall Street, the Standard & Poor’s 500 ended the week nearly two points higher, enough to give it a seventh straight week of gains. That’s the longest stretch of advances in more than two years.
The index lost 1.59 points to end at 1,519.79 Friday. For the week it held on to a gain of 1.86 points.
Investors piled into stocks at the beginning of the year after lawmakers reached a last-minute deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff” of sweeping tax hikes and spending cuts. The gains continued as investors were encouraged by signs that the housing and jobs markets are recovering. Company earnings have also held up well.
There are signs, however, that the rally is running out of steam.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 8.37 points to close at 13,981.76 Friday, but ended the week down 11 points. The index has now edged lower for two straight weeks.
The BATS 1000 fell 16.13 points, or 0.09 percent, to close at 17,186.92.
“We’ve just had such a fast start to the year,” said John Fox, manager of the FAM value fund. “It just makes sense that you are going to have a leveling or a slowdown.”
Walmart was the biggest decliner in the Dow Friday. The stock fell $1.52, or 2.2 percent, to $69.30 after Bloomberg News published excerpts from an internal e-mail that said sales in February were a “total disaster.” The retailer, which reports earnings next week, said that sometimes internal communications lacked “proper context” and “are not entirely accurate.”
Energy companies also contributed to the slump, following the price of crude oil lower. Chevron dropped 75 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $114.96.
The Nasdaq composite fell 6.63 points to 3,192.03 and was also down for the week, dropping 1.84 points.
Herbalife gained 47 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $38.74, and climbed as high as $44.93 after the billionaire investor Carl Icahn disclosed that he had accumulated a 13 percent stake in the company. The stock of the dietary supplement maker slumped last year after Pershing Square Capital Management’s William Ackman described it as a massive pyramid scheme and placed bets that it would fall.
Investors are continuing to put money into stocks. Lipper, a unit of financial data provider Thomson Reuters, reported that $2.4 billion flowed into stock funds this week, marking the sixth straight week of increases. In January $37.4 billion went into stock funds, the most in that month since 2000.
Capitol Federal Financial rose 2 cents, or 0.17%, to close at $11.94.
Cerner Corp. rose 3 cents, or 0.03%, to close at $87.93.
Commerce Bancshares Inc. rose 1 cents, or 0.03%, to close at $38.80.
Compass Minerals rose 61 cents, or 0.82%, to close at $75.10.
DST Systems Inc. rose 33 cents, or 0.49%, to close at $67.88.
Ferrellgas Partners L.P. fell 28 cents, or 1.41%, to close at $19.62.
Garmin Ltd. rose 17 cents, or 0.44%, to close at $39.14.
Great Plains Energy rose 5 cents, or 0.23%, to close at $21.97.
H&R Block Inc. rose 24 cents, or 0.97%, to close at $25.10.
Inergy L.P. fell 14 cents, or 0.70%, to close at $19.86.
Kansas City Life Insurance Co. rose 10 cents, or 0.26%, to close at $37.86.
Kansas City Southern rose 16 cents, or 0.16%, to close at $97.77.
Layne Christensen Co. rose 12 cents, or 0.52%, to close at $23.10.
O’Reilly Automotive Inc. fell 37 cents, or 0.36%, to close at $101.31.
Sprint Nextel Corp. rose 4 cents, or 0.68%, to close at $5.91.
UMB Financial Corp. rose 8 cents, or 0.17%, to close at $45.86.
Waddell & Reed Financial Corp. rose 32 cents, or 0.75%, to close at $42.73.
YRC Worldwide Inc. rose 3 cents, or 0.45%, to close at $6.75.