February 24, 2012
U.S. stocks rose this week, driving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to the highest level since 2008, after Greece got a bailout and better-than-expected data boosted confidence in the world’s largest economy.
Energy companies surged 1.9 percent, the most among 10 S&P 500 industries, as crude oil futures exceeded $109 a barrel. Sears Holdings Corp. rallied 25 percent, the most in the S&P 500, after announcing real estate sales and a rights offering. Technology companies in the stock index advanced an eighth straight week even as Hewlett-Packard Co. tumbled 10 percent. Procter & Gamble Co. added 2.8 percent after saying it will cut 5,700 jobs.
The S&P 500 added 0.3 percent to 1,365.74, the seventh gain in the past eight weeks. It exceeded last year’s high of 1,363.61 as a 24 percent rally since October restored $3.2 trillion to American equity values. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 33.08 points, or 0.3 percent, to 12,982.95. The measure exceeded 13,000 for the first time since 2008.