U.S. stocks rose throughout the short week, helping several indexes achieve record highs for the year. Investors grew confident in riskier commodities as several concerns gripped and eventually left the market over the week.
This Friday, Greece and the European Union’s finance ministers agreed to extend Greece’s financial rescue plan by four months on Friday. Greece is expected to submit their list of reforms by next week.
Investors are also relatively edgy and uncertain about the Federal Reserve’s plans to raise the key interest rate by the middle of the year. Much of those concerns are centered around timing, as investors aren’t sure if the Fed will raise interest rates around that particular time frame. As of now, most investors do expect the Fed to fulfill their mid-year promise.
The Federal Reserve commented in a recently released report that they ‘feel a premature increase in interest rate may stifle economic growth.’
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rallied to record levels by Friday’s close, rising 0.6 pct to finish at 2,110.30. Nine of its 10 main sectors closed high. Over the week, the index gained 0.6 pct.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average also rallied as much as 0.9 pct during Friday trading, advancing its 154.67 points to close at a high of 18,140.44. That marked the index’s biggest closing rally since late December.
Dow also recovered from significant losses earlier in the day to recover at close. It also gained 0.7 pct over the week.
The NASDAQ Composite Index rose for an eighth straight session, rising 31.27 points or a 0.6 pct increase, to finish at 4,952. The index gained 1.3 pct throughout the week. The tech-oriented benchmark also outperformed others for the year so far, gaining as much as 4.6 pct.
The Russell 2000 Index, for smaller companies, rallied 0.7 pct to close at record levels.
The markets were closed on February 16 for the Presidents’ Day holiday.