For the day, the S&P 500 index managed to gain 3.39 points to 1,962.87, an increase of 0.17%. Even better, weekly gains are becoming a welcome trend. The S&P 500 has managed to end the week ahead in five of the last six weeks, and it’s the 22nd time this year it’s managed to hit a record high.
The Dow had a slightly smaller percentage gain than the S&P 500, coming in with an increase of 0.15%. That was 25.62 points more than the previous day, and the Dow ended at 16,947.08. This broke the previous record high which was set on June 10, 2014, when it ended at 16,945.92.
While the NASDAQ Composite continued to make gains, it’s still well below the soaring heights of the dot-com era when it managed to peak at over 5,000. It managed a 0.20% increase for the day, or 8.71 points, to end at 4,360.04. While not an all-time record, it is the highest level in 14 years.
US government bonds slipped a fraction to end the week, with the year for the 10 year Treasury note, ending at 2.61%. This was down 0.01% from Thursday.
While all the major indexes were able to finish up, the moves have been coming in small increments. It appears the market is currently focusing on the specific performance of individual companies, rather than the geopolitical unrest in Iraq and Ukraine, and questions about the US economy.
The midweek remarks from the Federal Reserve indicating they plan to keep short-term interest rates low also helped stocks for the week. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) release a statement saying interest rates remained unchanged at 0.00% to 0.25% at the end of their two-day meeting. As part of the policy statement made, FOMC said the following, “It likely will be appropriate to maintain the current target range for the federal funds rate for a considerable time after the asset purchase program ends, especially if projected inflation continues to run below the Committee’s 2 percent longer-run goal, and provided that longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored.” Low interest rates help make stocks look attractive compared to other investment vehicles.
There were also some good economic numbers to help push stocks upward. The Labor Department reported initial claims fell to 312,000, a decline of 6,000 for the June 14 week.
Whether the week ahead brings about new record highs will depend a lot on housing data, which will be coming out during next week, as well as if there are any major new geopolitical developments.
(Photo courtesy of Dan Nelson)