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S&P on Track for Record Close

Stocks rose 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 surged 128.82 points at 37,597.43.

The S&P 500 index moved higher 22.99 points to 4,803.93, trading above the 4,800 level and its all-time closing high of 4,796.56 from January 2022.

The NASDAQ took on 98.57 points to pause for lunch Friday at 15,154.21.

Insurance company Travelers rose more than 4% after posting an earnings beat. Schlumberger N.V. gained nearly 2% after beating on top and bottom lines, and Ally Financial surged 9.4% 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 faded, raising yields to 4.17% from Thursday’s 4.14%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices rose 48 cents to $73.60 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $4.10 to $2,025.70.

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