Stocks March Higher
New York (ap) — The stock market closed out its best week of the year Friday as big gains by retailers and technology companies pushed major indexes upward.
Stocks faded as Friday wore on, but they still finished higher. The S&P 500 index climbed almost 3.3 percent for the week. By just a hair, that was its biggest weekly gain in 2015.
Stocks climbed Monday and Wednesday as the U.S. market didn’t seem to be affected by a string of unsettling international events, including last Friday’s terrorist attack in Paris. Instead, investors responded to signs the U.S. economy remains strong.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 91.06 points, or 0.5 percent, to 17,823.81. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 7.93 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,089.17. The Nasdaq composite index gained 31.28 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,104.92. The Dow turned positive for the year by a fraction of a point.
“Throughout the week we got more and more news that the Federal Reserve was assessing the economy favorably,” said Erik Davidson, chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Private Bank.
Davidson said investors have slowly gotten used to the idea that the Federal Reserve is going to raise interest rates. That prospect worried them greatly a few months ago, but now, stocks are rising because investors are taking heart that the Fed believes the economy is on solid footing. Meanwhile, new economic stimulus in Europe could strengthen the global economy.
Retailers rallied after solid earnings reports from discount chain Ross Stores and footwear seller Foot Locker. Retail stocks got pummeled this month after weak reports from Macy’s and Nordstrom caused investors to worry that the holiday shopping season would be a bust. But some retailers are doing well.
U.S. crude lost 15 cents to $40.39 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 48 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $44.66 a barrel in London. Last week U.S. crude dipped under $40 a barrel for the first time in almost three months.
Wholesale gasoline was unchanged at $1.29 a gallon. Heating oil was also little changed at $1.371 a gallon. Natural gas fell 13 cents to $2.145 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.26 percent from 2.25 percent late Thursday. The euro fell to $1.0657 from $1.0731. The dollar edged up to 122.87 yen from 122.86 yen.