The U.S. stock market closed out its fifth-straight week of gains with new highs Friday, buoyed by positive economic news from China and Europe.
The People’s Bank of China announced a surprising interest rate cut on Friday — the bank’s first in two years and one that sent international markets higher. Meanwhile, Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, further boosted global investors’ confidence by saying the central bank is prepared to step up efforts to give the struggling eurozone economy a much-needed shot in the arm.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 91 points, or 0.5%, to finish at a new record close of 17,810. The blue-chip index, which also set a new intraday high by flirting with the 17,900-point mark, hit a record close two out of five days this week after recording new all-time high finishes three times last week.
The S&P 500 also posted another record close Friday by rising almost 11 points, or 0.5%, to 2,064. It was the closely-watched index’s third record finish of the week after posting three new records last week, as well.
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq composite was up slightly, gaining 11 points, or 0.2%, to finish at 4,713. The tech-heavy index continues to climb to its highest levels since 2000.
One of Friday’s best-performing stocks was auction house Sotheby’s (BID), which jumped nearly 7% following news of its CEO’s departure after a long battle with activist investors.
For the most part, it was a week of moderate gains for the U.S. market. But it did mark the fifth-straight week of positive performance coming on the heels of the best four-week stretch since 2011. Earlier this week, the markets improved on news that Japan’s prime minister would delay tax hikes for 18 months in the hopes of stimulating that country’s sluggish economy.
The Dow Jones and S&P 500 were both up by about 1% on the week, while the Nasdaq gained just 0.5% over the past five days.
Each of the major indices has rebounded sharply after a series of market-wide sell-offs in early October nearly erased all of the year’s gains as investors showed their concerns over the global economy and the possibility of a sooner-than-expected interest rate hike in the U.S.