U.S. stock ETFs rallied Friday after Fed chairman Ben Bernanke’s highly anticipated Jackson Hole speech but the major indices were on track to lose ground for a second week.
In afternoon trading Friday, the S&P 500 was down 0.4% for the week, the Dow shed 0.6% and the Nasdaq Composite was off 0.2%.
Bernanke said the economy and jobs market continue to face challenges, and left the door open for further quantitative easing from the Fed. The attention now turns to the Fed policy meeting in September.
“Bernanke fell short of providing any explicit green light to further asset purchases at the September meeting, but his remarks reinforce the dovish bias arising from the minutes of the July meeting,” said Millan Mulraine, an economist at TD Securities, in a Reuters report. “The burden of proof remains squarely on the data … to dissuade the Fed from taking further action.”
There weren’t many big movers in ETFs this week amid subdued trading volume before the Labor Day holiday weekend.