Wall Street's post-election surge continues despite Thanksgiving break
Stocks hit fresh records in a shortened US trading session on Friday as investors continued to bet on a pick-up in economic growth and rising corporate profits.
The gains were modest but broad, with nearly every sector in the Standard and Poor's 500 index rising. Utilities rose the most, up 1.4%.
Indexes have been rising since the presidential election, and the close on Friday capped a third week in a row of S&P 500 gains. The index is up 4% so far this month.
Small-company stocks continued to outpace the market. The Russell 2000 index, which has surged 16% since November 3, increased for the 15th day in a row, its longest winning streak since early 1996.
Investors anticipate that plans by President-elect Donald Trump to cut taxes, reduce regulations and spend on infrastructure will speed economic growth.
Investors are also reacting to recent signs of a pick-up in growth in several other major economies around the world, said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist for Wells Capital Management.
"We haven't had a synchronised bounce in growth across the globe ever in this recovery," Mr Paulsen said. "This is the first time you're getting all the economic boats going north at the same time, and I think stock markets are reflecting that."
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 68.96 points, or 0.4%, to 19,152.14. The S&P 500 climbed 8.63 points, or 0.4%, to 2,213.35. The Nasdaq composite added 18.24 points, or 0.3%, to 5,398.92.
Stock trading closed at 1:00pm Eastern time. Trading was relatively quiet as investors returned from the Thanksgiving holiday.
Investors sold bonds again on fear that inflation in the future could eat into their fixed payments. Yields, which move opposite prices, fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.36%.
Ten of 11 sectors of the S&P 500 rose. Energy companies fell with the price of oil. ConocoPhillips lost 55 cents, or 1.2%, to 45.75 dollars.
Electricity supplier Entergy Energy rose 1.41 dollars, or 2.1%, to 69.53 dollars. The climb in utilities on Friday reflects investor desire for steady dividends. Telephone companies, which are also big dividend payers, rose, too. AT&T climbed 48 cents, or 1.2%, to 39.21 dollars.
Among others stocks making moves Friday, Johnson & Johnson rose 1.06 dollars, or 0.9%, to 114.13 dollarsafter the health care company said it is in early talks to buy Swiss drugmaker Actelion.
Deere & Co. rose 1.7%, after rocketing 11% on Wednesday. The maker of agricultural and construction equipment reported a quarterly loss on Wednesday, but it was much less than expected. It closed Friday at 103.92 dollars, up 1.75 dollars.
Stocks closed higher overseas, too.
Britain's FTSE 100 and France's CAC 40 each rose 0.2%. Germany's Dax climbed 0.1%.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 finished 0.3% higher and South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.2%. Stocks in Hong Kong, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore and other Southeast Asian markets also advanced.
Oil prices fell sharply. Benchmark US crude fell 1.90 dollars, or 4%, to 46.06 dollars per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 1.90 dollars, or 3.9%, to 47.10 dollars in London.
Investors pushed prices up earlier in the week, but are on edge in anticipation of a meeting of Opec nations next week. They are meeting to possibly hammer out an agreement on meaningful output cuts.
In other energy trading, wholesale petrol fell five cents to 1.37 dollars a gallon, heating oil lost five cents to 1.47 dollars a gallon and natural gas rose six cents to 3.09 dollars per 1,000 cubic feet.
The dollar remained at a more than eight-year high against the Chinese yuan, which was trading at 6.92 yuan per dollar. The dollar fell against the Japanese yen, to 113.09 yen from 113.69 yen, while the euro strengthened to 1.0600 from 1.0547 dollars.