NEW YORK, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks closed mixed in a seesaw trading session Friday following Thursday's selloff, as investors were trying their best to gauge whether the market could keep its upward momentum after a banner year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 28.64 points, or 0.17 percent, to 16,469.99. The S&P 500 inched down 0.61 point, or 0.03 percent, to 1,831.37. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 11.16 points, or 0.27 percent, to 4,131.91.
For the holiday shortened week, all the three indices finished with a decline, falling 0.1 percent, 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.
The market rebounded in reaction to remarks by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, before dipping again in the final half hour of the trading session.
He said Friday afternoon that the tapering of the Fed's quantitative easing doesn't affect its commitment to low rates at an American Economic Association meeting.
Bernanke also expressed his optimistic forecast of the world's largest economy in coming quarters, while reiterating that the U.S. overall recovery "clearly remains incomplete."
Wall Street exhibited a volatile trading session, with major indices toggling in and out of positive territory, amid a seemingly widening rift between bulls and bears over whether the market could continue its impressive performance when entering its sixth year in a bull cycle since 2009.
The U.S. equity market suffered a selloff Thursday, the first trading day of 2014, after marking a stellar year in 2013, when major indices jumped the most in over a decade.
In corporate news, shares of Ford Motor advanced 0.45 percent to 15.51 U.S. dollars after posting a December sales gain, while shares of General Motors slumped 3.37 percent to 39.57 dollars on a drop in its sales in December.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered as a fear gauge of the market, lost 3.30 percent to finish at 13.76.
In other markets, oil prices fell Friday as report said that Libya prepared to boost oil output.
Light, sweet crude for February delivery moved down 1.48 dollars to settle at 93.96 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. While Brent crude for February delivery decreased 89 cents to close at 106.89 dollars a barrel.
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange continued to bounce back Friday on short covering, after the precious metal suffered the biggest annual losses in three decades in 2013. The most active gold contract for February delivery surged 13.4 dollars to settle at 1,238.6 dollars per ounce.
The U.S. dollar traded mixed against major currencies on Friday after posting a strong performance recently largely thanks to an array of positive economic data from the United States.
In late New York trading, the euro dropped to 1.3597 dollars from 1.3654 dollars of the previous session, and the dollar bought 104.66 yen, lower than 104.71 yen of the previous session.