US stocks close steady but post gains for the week

U.S. stock benchmarks ended little changed Friday as investors looked ahead to a three-day weekend.

For the week though, equity indexes ended with strong gains as the markets largely shrugged off rising U.S.-China tensions and remained optimistic that the impact of coronavirus on corporate earnings will be relatively short-lived.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.03% fell 8.96 points, or less than 0.1%, to end at 24,465.16, weighed by shares of Caterpillar Inc. CAT, -1.39% and Chevron Corp. CVX, -1.91%. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.23% closed 6.94 points higher, or 0.2%, at 2,955.45. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.42% traded 0.4% higher to finish the week at 9,324.59, a gain of 39.71 points.

Meanwhile, the Russell 2000 index RUT, +0.59%, representing smaller-capitalization companies, gained 7.97 points, or 0.6% to close at 1,355.53

For the week, the Dow climbed 3.3%, the S&P 500 advanced 3.2% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 3.4%. The Russell 2000 notched a 7.8% weekly ris