S&P 500 Index reaches record highs as volatility drops.
US stocks advanced on Friday, with all three major bourses finishing in record territory following a week of steady gains.
The large-cap S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) climbed 0.5% to close at a new record high of 2,459.27. For the week, the benchmark advanced nearly 1.5%.
Ten of 11 sectors finished in positive territory, with information technology leading the way higher.
The tech-driven Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ) rose 0.6% to 6,312.47, which was also a new high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.4% to 21,637.74 – its third straight record close.
A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (NYSEARCA:VXX) approached multi-decade lows on Friday, a sign of prevailing calm on Wall Street. The VIX closed down 3.9% at 9.51, which was only 14 points below its yearly low.
The VIX trades on a scale of 1-100, with 20 representing the historic mean.
In economic data, US consumer inflation weakened more than expected last month. The consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.6% year-over-year, the Labor Department said. CPI inflation came in at 1.9% annually in May.
Retail sales also fell unexpectedly, raising warning signs about the second-quarter recovery. Receipts at retail stores slipped 0.2% in June, data from the Commerce Department showed.
Meanwhile, US industrial production rose 0.4% in June, data from the Fed showed. Analysts in a median estimate had forecast a 0.3% gain.
In commodities, oil prices ended on a firm note, with US crude futures rallying 1.3% to $46.68 a barrel. Brent crude also advanced 1.2% to $49.02 a barrel.
The Final Word: Weak inflation is expected to keep the Federal Reserve cautious in normalizing monetary policy. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said as much in her semi-annual testimony before Congress earlier this week.