Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank would introduce similar steps in its upcoming Federal Open Market Committee meetings. Bernanke said such reductions would continue if economic data continued to remain positive. He said the Fed would continue to maintain low borrowing rates in order to increase spending and propel growth. At the same time, such moves were aimed at pushing up the low level of inflation, he added.
Shares of Red Hat Inc. (NYSE:RHT) surged more than 14%, touching a 52-week high after the company posted robust fiscal third quarter results. The company’s earnings and revenues came in above the Street’s estimates. Earnings jumped 44.8% whereas revenues soared 15.4% from the year-ago period.
The industrials sector was one of the biggest gainers among the S&P 500 industry groups on Friday. The Industrials SPDR (XLI) gained 0.3%. Stocks such as General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX), 3M Co (NYSE:MMM), and United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) increased 0.2%, 1.1%, 1.1%, 0.2%, and 0.2%, respectively.
Also, the technology sector joined industrials on the list of biggest gainers among the S&P 500 industry groups on Friday. The Technology SPDR (XLK) gained 0.3% as well. Stocks such as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), and Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) increased 0.8%, 1.3%, 1.5%, 0.7%, and 0.3%, respectively.
The materials sector incurred maximum losses. The Materials SPDR (XLB) lost 0.3%. Stocks such as Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON), E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co (NYSE:DD), The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW), International Paper Company (NYSE:IP), and Nucor Corporation (NYSE:NUE) decreased 0.1%, 0.3%, 0.3%, 1.0%, and 0.8%, respectively.