Stocks end higher as market shrugs off Fed-speak

STORY: Stocks rallied to end higher on Friday after a choppy trading session, as investors eventually shrugged off hawkish comments by a Federal Reserve official about more aggressive interest rate hikes.

The Dow rose nearly six-tenths of a percent, the S&P 500 gained almost half a percent and the Nasdaq posted a marginal gain.

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston leader Susan Collins on Friday said the Fed may need to deliver another 75-basis point rate hike as there was little evidence that price pressures were waning.

Her comments came a day after St. Louis Fed President James Bullard set off equity declines when he said the Fed needs to keep raising rates as its tightening so far "had only limited effects on observed inflation."

While markets rebounded Friday, Lisa Erickson, Senior Vice President, Head of Public Markets Group at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, sees more down days ahead.

“We certainly are cautious about the Fed speak that's coming out. [FLASH] … certainly the focus has been really firmly on the message that they want to combat those ongoing price pressures. And with that, really the overall direction is for them to continue to keep on a tighter force in order to, again, try to bring down those elevated inflation pressures. And with that, what we really are seeing is a strong headwind to the equity market.”

In company news, Gap shares rose 7.6% after the retailer beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly sales and profit.

And shares of Live Nation Entertainment slumped 7.8% after The New York Times reported that the U.S. Justice Department was investigating whether the Ticketmaster parent had abused its power over the multibillion-dollar live music industry.