Stocks carried pleasant disposition into the weekend as Friday trading saw all indices up once again, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 closing at a new all-time high for the second consecutive day.
The NASDAQ posted the day’s biggest advance, up 0.61 percent to 3,600.08 points, while the S&P skipped up 0.31 percent to a new record closing tally at 1,680.19 points, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a gain of 0.02 percent to end the week at 15,464.30.
Market movement was primarily the result of the week’s momentum, particularly following Ben Bernanke’s press conference on Thursday during which he reassured investors that the Federal Reserve’s support of the economy in the form of billions of dollars in monthly asset purchases is here to stay for the near to mid-term. The bond market had good reason to celebrate as well, as the Chairman explained that any eventual tapering in bond purchases would not automatically mean that historically low interest rates would be changed by the Central Bank.
It was a relatively quiet semi-official opening week of earnings season, but Friday saw reports from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC), both of whom beat expectations. The coming week will see earnings from other large financial institutions such as Bank of America (BAC) and Morgan Stanley (MS).
The Dow lagged behind its index peers as a result of Boeing’s (BA) stock that dropped nearly 5 percent by the closing bell to $101.87. Just when it had looked as though the company had managed to put the worst of January’s twin engine-overheating fiascos on its new 787 Dreamliner behind it, another fire on a Dreamliner landing at London’s Heathrow airport sucker-punched the company’s share price.