NEW YORK, May 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks drifted higher Friday to finish the week mixed, as investors were a little bit reluctant to continue shorting stocks after two straight days of losses.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 44.50 points, or 0.27 percent, to 16,491.31. The broader S&P 500 added 7.01 points, or 0. 37 percent, to 1,877.86. The Nasdaq Composite Index ticked up 21. 29 points, or 0.52 percent, to 4,090.59.
The U.S. stock market posted seesaw trading in the week, with the blue-chip Dow and the broader S&P 500 refreshing records in the first two days of the week amid a broad rebounding in global stock market.
Following the two-day record rally, however, renewed selling on small-cap shares which had been troubled by overvaluation concerns kept Wall Street from extending its record rally.
For the week, the Dow and the S&P 500 were down 0.6 percent and 0.03 percent, respectively. While the Nasdaq increased 0.5 percent.
The market initially went down in the day before reversing to close in green territory, as investors mulled a pair of mixed economic data.
Privately-owned housing starts in April surged 13.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.072 million, the highest since November, while building permits, a gauge of future construction, rose 8 percent to a nearly six-year high of 1.080 million, said the U.S. Commerce Department Friday.
However, U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly fell in May, with the preliminary reading of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index registering 81.8 from the final April reading of 84.1, lower than market estimates.
In corporate news, Jumei International Holding Limited, China's leading online retailer of beauty products, made its trading debut on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol " JMEI" Friday. Jumei shares opened at 27.25 U.S. dollars apiece before finishing at 24.18 dollars a share, rising 9.91 percent compared with its initial public offering price of 22 dollars.
Shares of American department-store chain J. C. Penney surged 16.25 percent to 9.73 dollars apiece as it reported first-quarter earnings after Thursday's closing bell. The company's sales expanded to 2.84 billion dollars from 2.64 billion dollars in the same period of last year. However, it still lost 352 million dollars in the quarter, but smaller than expectations.
The CBOE Volatility Index, a gauge of fear in the market, climbed 5.54 percent to end at 12.44.
In other markets, oil prices advanced Friday on better-than- expected U.S. housing data. Light, sweet crude for June delivery moved up 52 cents to settle at 102.02 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for July delivery gained 66 cents to close at 109.75 dollars a barrel.
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped slightly Friday as traders assessed U.S. demand for the precious metal, with the most active gold contract for June delivery falling 0.2 dollar, or 0.02 percent, to settle at 1, 293.4 dollars per ounce.
The U.S. dollar traded mixed against major currencies Friday as the U.S. economic data came out mixed. In late New York trading, the euro fell to 1.3697 U.S. dollars from 1.3716 dollars of the previous session, and the U.S. dollar bought 101.52 Japanese yen, lower than 101.53 yen of the previous session.