U.S. stocks closed higher Friday to score fresh records, following a mixed batch of corporate bank results and poor data on retail-sales and inflation, which led market participants to believe the Federal Reserve is firmly back in a dovish frame of mind.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 84.65 points, or 0.4% to finish at 21,637.74, its third record close in a row, and the 25th record close for the average this year. The blue-chip average was led higher by gains for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. INTC, -0.12% Shares of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. were the worst performers on the average.
The S&P 500 index rose 11.44 points, or 0.5%, to finish at a record 2,459.27, its first record close since June 19. All sectors except financials finished in positive territory. Real estate and tech shares finished up 1.1% and 0.9%, respectively.
The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 38.03 points, or 0.6%, to close at 6,312.47, for its sixth-straight positive close. The index finished just shy of its closing record of 6,321.76 set on June 8.