Bull Market

Stocks Extend Record Rally Amid Strong Earnings

S&P 500, Dow Jones, Nasdaq extend rally on Friday.

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market advanced to new highs on Friday, as strong corporate earnings and upbeat economic data continued to reverberate.

Wall Street’s major indices traded higher at the close, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) gaining 164.68 points, or 0.5%, to 34,200.67, a new all-time high.

The broad S&P 500 Index (SPY) of large-cap stocks rose 0.4% to close at 4,185.47, a new all-time high. Nine of 11 primary sectors reported gains, with materials leading the rally.

Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ) rose 0.1% to settle at 14,052.34.

A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (VXX) edged slightly lower on Friday.  The so-called “investor fear index” reached an intraday low of 16.15 on a scale of 1-100, where 20 represents the historical average. It would eventually settle down 2.4% at 16.18.

In commodities, oil prices declined on Friday, with U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures falling 34 cents, or 0.5%, to $63.12 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the international futures contract, declined 21 cents, or 0.3%, to $66.73 a barrel.

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In precious metals, gold prices rallied on Friday, as the June futures contract gained $9.30, or 0.5%, to $1,776.10 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver futures climbed 5 cents, or 0.2%, to $26.02 a troy ounce.

The Final Word: A strong start to corporate earnings season and upbeat economic data lifted equities this week. FactSet, a financial research firm, is estimating a strong rebound in corporate earnings for Q1 as businesses continue to crawl out of the pandemic.