Investors filled with holiday cheer sent Wall Street's major indexes to new multiyear highs yesterday, extending the stock market's winning steak despite a plummeting dollar and...
NEW YORK — Investors filled with holiday cheer sent Wall Street’s major indexes to new multiyear highs yesterday, extending the stock market’s winning steak despite a plummeting dollar and signs of weaker consumer spending.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 11.23 to 10,827.12, its highest close since June 13. 2001.
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Microsoft, one of the 30 Dow stocks, added 4 cents yesterday to close at $27.01 a share, finishing the week up 0.2 percent. Boeing, also a Dow stock, retreated 38 cents yesterday to $53.53, ending the week up 0.8 percent.
Broader stock indicators were modestly higher. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 0.56 at 1,210.13, the best close for the index since Aug. 3, 2001. The Nasdaq composite index gained 3.59 to 2,160.62.
For the week, the Dow rose 1.66 percent, the S&P gained 1.33 percent, and the Nasdaq climbed 1.19 percent. It was the second week of gains for the major indexes, which have risen in five of the last seven weeks.
Investors looked past the dollar’s all-time low against the euro, which rose to $1.3483 against the greenback, surpassing its record high set Dec. 7. Although the weaker dollar raises the possibility of higher inflation, investors saw the U.S. currency’s decline as an opportunity to help close the trade deficit, since U.S. goods will be less expensive abroad.
And stocks rose despite a Commerce Department report confirming that Americans have reined in their spending. Consumer spending for November rose 0.2 percent, slightly less than the 0.3 percent Wall Street expected and far less than the 0.8 percent jump in October. “Right now, there’s just no selling going on,” said Todd Leone, managing director of equity trading at SG Cowen Securities. “There’s a lot of money being put to work before the end of the year, and I think that despite whatever news we get, we’ll just continue drifting up.”
Stocks rallied through the holiday-shortened week, with investor optimism remaining high. The Dow reached new 3-1/2-year highs for three straight sessions, while the S&P saw its second straight high.
The Nasdaq, struggling with disappointing earnings and outlooks from technology firms, failed to break the multiyear high set last Wednesday.
Most financial markets around the world will be closed today in observance of Christmas.
In addition to yesterday’s consumer-spending report, the Commerce Department said orders for durable goods — products intended to last three years or longer — rose 1.6 percent for November. However, the gains came solely from orders for cars, planes and other transportation equipment. Without those, durable-goods orders actually fell 0.8 percent.
Investors also looked past a slight climb in unemployment claims. The Labor Department reported first-time jobless claims rose to 337,000, up 17,000 from the previous week. However, analysts noted that claims were still low enough to extend the labor market’s slow recovery.
“On balance, the economic news was OK, not blockbuster, but good enough,” said Ken Tower, chief market strategist for Schwab’s CyberTrader. “We’re still in a very robust rally, and there are no signs that I can see that would stop it from continuing.”