Wall Street ended little changed on Friday, as Applied Materials helped lift the tech sector and offset a renewed drop in oil prices, with major indexes capping their best week of the year.
The Nasdaq rose, helped by a 7 percent jump in Applied Materials shares after the chip equipment provider gave a strong profit and revenue forecast for the current quarter.
The S&P 500 remains down 6.2 percent this year, however, hurt by oil's prolonged slide and fears of China-led slowdown in the global economy.
The performance of equities has been tightly linked with that of oil. The commodity's price fell 4 percent on Friday as record high US crude stockpiles heightened supply concerns, and the S&P energy sector .SPNY ended down 0.4 percent.
Investors also digested data that showed rising rents and healthcare costs lifted underlying U.S. inflation in January, a sign of a pick-up in price pressures that could allow the Federal Reserve to gradually raise rates this year.
"We have had a lot of very concerning economic data in the first six weeks of the year, and I think over the last few weeks we have seen a significant improvement in that data,"
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