Stock Market Today: Markets Close Mixed to End the Week

The major indices went their different ways but were little changed Friday.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stocks were mixed in choppy trading today as investors weighed the odds of additional stimulus and the latest point of downbeat economic data.

The consumer sentiment index fell to 73.2 for July, well below expectations for a reading of 78.6. At the same time, the market is anticipating another round of financial measures to bolster the precarious economy.

Meanwhile, shares in Netflix (NFLX) tumbled 6.5% after the company forecast slower-than-expected subscriber growth in the third quarter, but the selloff didn't bleed into the rest of the technology sector.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday slipped 0.2% to close at 26,671.9, while the S&P 500 edged up 0.3% to 3,224.7.

Additional Stimulus Is Key

Another round of stimulus could give the bull market another boost, but until policy makers decide, a number of analysts expect stocks to trade sideways.

If the U.S. does extend programs like expanded unemployment benefits and Paycheck Protection Program loans, there's good reason to think nimble growth stocks could pace a rising market. It could also give a boost to select beaten-down industrial names.

But what's an investor to do if stocks continue to trade sideways regardless of what the federal government decides? Blue-chip dividend stocks with outsized yields can provide positive returns even if their share-price gains remain subdued -- but they're not all created equal. See which high-yield Dow dividend stocks analysts favor for this market.

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer,

Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.

A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.

Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.

In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics, demographics, real estate, cost of living indexes and more.

Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.

Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.