New York – The S&P 500 closed above 1 900 for the first time on Friday as a positive report on new-home sales helped to push US stocks broadly higher.
The S&P 500 advanced 8.04 points to 1 900.53, besting by more than three points the index’s record close earlier this month.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 63.19 points to 16 606.27, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 31.47 points to 4 185.81.
The record close by the S&P 500-stock index followed a Commerce Department report that showed new single-family homes were sold at an annual rate of 433 000 units in April, well above analysts’ forecast of a 415 000 pace.
“It shows there is momentum in the markets on the upside,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. “It’s safe to say this bull does have long legs.”
Trading volumes have been low all week, a trend that continued on Friday as some on Wall Street left early for vacation ahead of Monday’s Memorial Day holiday when markets are closed.
Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities, said fewer investors are trying to bail out of technology equities and other momentum stocks compared with a few weeks ago.
“As there have been fewer sellers in a lot of stocks, it has been easier for them to move higher,” James said.
Most leading tech names did well, including Apple (+1.1%), Facebook (+1.4%) and Google (+1.4%). But in the losing column were Twitter (-3.2%) and biotech company Gilead Sciences (-2.4%).
Hewlett-Packard jumped 6.1% after reporting fiscal second-quarter earnings that met expectations on sales that slightly underperformed. The computer company also announced it would cut an additional 11 ,000 to 16 000 jobs on top of 34 000 previously announced.
Athletic footwear retailer Foot Locker rose 1.6% as earnings of $1.10 per share in the first quarter topped expectations by four cents. Comparable-store sales jumped 7.6% from last year.
Cybersecurity company FireEye got a lift from an upgrade by Barclays, rising 3.4%. Barclays said FireEye “continues to be one of the most disruptive technology companies with its differentiated, virtual-machine approach to security”.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.54% from 2.56% on Thursday, while the 30-year dropped to 3.40% from 3.43%. Bond prices and yields move inversely.