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S&P Enjoys Record Close

The S&P 500 closed at an all-time high on Friday as investors returned to buying equities in force in recent days following a short-lived market stumble to start the new year.

The Dow Jones Industrials popped 395.19 points, or 1.1%, at 37,836.80.

The S&P 500 index charged 58.87 points, or 1.2%, to 4,839.81. The broad market index surpassed its January 2022 intraday high of 4,818.62 and its closing record of 4,796.56.

The NASDAQ rose 255.32 points, or 1.7%, to close Friday at 15,310.97.

All three major averages are now in positive territory for 2024, with the 30-stock Dow going green during Friday’s rally.

The tech sector gained 2.4% on Friday and more than 4% during the trading week, making it the S&P 500’s best-performing sector week to date.

Insurance company Travelers rose 6.7% after posting an earnings beat. Schlumberger gained 2.2% after beating on top and bottom lines, and Ally Financial surged over 10% after reporting strong quarterly results and a sale of a business unit to Synchrony Financial.

Fresh consumer data on Friday indicated that consumers are becoming more confident on the economy and inflation. The University of Michigan’s Survey of Consumers showed a 21.4% year-over-year jump to reach its highest level since July 2021. Meanwhile, home sales declined 1% month-over-month in December 2023, marking 2023 as the worst year for full-year sales since 1995, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury gained ground, weighing on yields to 4.13% from Thursday’s 4.14%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dipped 27 cents to $73.81 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $9.60 to $2,031.20.

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