The benchmark S&P 500 index had dropped as much as 1.6% but rebounded from its session lows after Mnuchin spoke positively of the two-day negotiations between the United States and China. It added further to gains after Trump echoed that sentiment in a series of tweets. The index pulled back from the session's highs, however, after Mnuchin said no further trade talks were planned, according to CNBC.
Even with Friday's rebound, though, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq logged their biggest weekly percentage losses of the year.
Recent developments in U.S.-China trade relations, including an increase in U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods that went into effect on Friday, have led investors to brace for a potential escalation of the trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies. That in turn has stoked fears of a global economic slowdown, prompting a flight to low-risk assets such as government bonds.
Yet Friday's comments from the White House kept some investors hopeful of an eventual trade agreement.
"The market is getting that the statements (from Mnuchin and Trump) are more political than indicative of a change in strategy," said Oliver Pursche, chief market strategist at Bruderman Asset Management in New York. "Nothing has changed in terms of our investment thesis. In the short term, China needs a trade deal more than the U.S. But in the long term, the U.S. needs it more than China. Effectively, that's a pretty good balance."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 114.01 points, or 0.44%, to 25,942.37, the S&P 500 gained 10.68 points, or 0.37%, to 2,881.4 and the Nasdaq Composite added 6.35 points, or 0.08%, to 7,916.94.
For the week, the Dow fell 2.12%, the S&P 500 declined 2.17% and the Nasdaq shed 3.03%.
Uber Technologies Inc shares dropped 7.6% after having opened below their initial public offering price in the ride-hailing company's long-awaited market debut.
Symantec Corp shares plunged 12.5% after the antivirus software maker issued a profit warning and unexpectedly announced its chief executive officer would step down.
Shares of chipmakers, which draw much of their revenue from China, finished higher to snap their four-day run of declines, but the Philadelphia semiconductor index fell 5.8% for the week.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.85-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.22-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 20 new 52-week highs and 12 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 57 new highs and 107 new lows.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 7.44 billion shares, compared to the 6.9 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.
(Reporting by April Joyner; Additional reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Jonathan Oatis and Diane Craft)
By April Joyner