On Friday, Wall Street awoke still smarting from the previous day’s losses, and promptly seized on the University of Michigan’s consumer confidence survey to send stocks straight back to their recent position at all-time highs.
The University’s broadly recognized index was up to 83.7, from last month’s 76.4, the highest reading since July of 2007, and well ahead of Economists’ expectations of 77.9. The economic conditions sub-component increased from 89.9 to 97.5, and the economic outlook sub-component was up from 67.8 to 74.8.
The news helped soften the blow of Thursday’s greater than expected increase in jobless claims, as well as renewed talk from the Federal Reserve that a pull-back in bond and asset purchases could be seen as early as this summer.
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) added to the day’s momentum when it upped its full-year price target for the S&P 500 to 1,715, a number well in excess of the 1,580 it had originally forecast.
The S&P 500 was up 1.03 percent to close at yet another new all-time high of 1,667.47 points, led by oil and gas company Tesoro Corporation (TSO), up almost 7 percent to $62.24 on news that the company won approval from the Federal Trade Commission to purchase a California refinery previously owned by BP (BP). Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) was also up nearly 7 percent, closing at $14.74 per share, while semiconductor company Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) advanced 6.27 percent to close at $4.07.
In all, oil and gas stocks fared incredibly well on the S&P 500 during today’s rally. Marathon Petroleum (MPC) was the day’s 4th largest gainer by percentage, up 5.30 percent to $82.68, while Valero Energy (VLO), Helmerich & Payne (HP), Cabot Oil & Gas (COG), and Nabors Industries Ltd. (NBR) were all up over 3.5 percent.
J.C. Penney (JCP) dropped 4.15 percent to $18.01 after yet its earnings, released in late trading on Thursday, proved worse than had been expected, but in all only 10 of the S&P 500’s components were down more than 1 percent by the close of regular trading.
The Dow also set a new record, up 0.80 percent to close at 15,354.40, with JPMorgan Chase (JPM) leading the pack, up 2.61 percent to $52.30 per share, followed by Boeing (BA) up 2.42 percent to $98.92 on a week that saw the company resume deliveries of its new repaired 787 Dreamliner planes, and Microsoft (MSFT), who advanced 2.32 percent to close at $34.87, propelled by strong Xbox sales for the month of April.
The Nasdaq logged an advance 0.97 percent, closing at 3,498.97 points, with big increases for 3-d printer company ExOne (XONE), up 7.35 percent to $40.60, Cisco Systems (CSCO) up nearly 1.5 percent to $24.24 on the day’s highest volume, and SolarCity Corporation up 26 percent to $45.00 per share.
Meanwhile, Aruba Networks (ARUN) dropped 25.6 percent to $13.10, while Tesla Motors (TSLA) hit a speed bump, down 0.81 percent to close at $91.50 per share after a month that has seen the company’s stock nearly double in price. Apple (AAPL) was down 0.30 percent to $433.26.
Next week, investors will have several news items to look out for, including talks from a number of Regional Federal Reserve Presidents, as well as Chairman Ben Bernanke and the release of FOMC minutes. Companies that will report earnings include Urban Outfitters (URBN), Home Depot (HD), Best Buy (BBY), Ralph Lauren (RL), Lowe’s (LOW), Target (TGT), and Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF).
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