The stock market finished in uncharted territory on Friday as the S&P 500 closed above 5,000 points for the first time in its history. The large-cap benchmark closed on Friday at 5,027, up by about 29 points on the day, as it had finished on Thursday at 4,998. The index actually touched 5,000 on Thursday during intraday trading, but it did not close above 5,000 until Friday.
The S&P 500 finished last week up 1.4%, marking its fifth straight winning week and 14th positive week out of 15 weeks in 2024. Year to date, the index is up 5.4% through Feb. 9.
However, last week was indeed a big week for the U.S. markets in general, even beyond the S&P 500.
Dow Jones Industrial Average also in record territory
It was a historic week for the Dow Jones Industrial Average too, as that benchmark established a new high on Thursday. The Dow closed at 38,726 on Feb. 8 after gaining 49 points on the day. The Dow actually topped that in intraday trading on Friday, climbing to 38,734, but it finished the day down slightly at 38,672. For the week, the Dow ticked up 0.1%. Year to date, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 2.6%.
The Nasdaq Composite did not set any records or establish new highs last week, but it came pretty close. The index jumped 2.3%, ending the week at 15,991 after reaching a high of 16,007 during regular trading hours on Friday. It was also the fifth winning week in a row for the Nasdaq Composite. Year to date, the benchmark is up 6.5%.
When the Nasdaq Composite briefly poked above 16,000 on Friday, it was the first time it had reached that level since its all-time high of 16,212 on Nov. 22, 2021. However, that high was reached in intraday trading. The Nasdaq Composite’s all-time closing high is 16,057 — set on Nov. 19, 2021. Basically, the index has now wiped out all of its losses from the late 2021 and 2022 bear market.
Could the Nasdaq hit a record this week?
The markets were mixed in morning trading on Monday, but the Nasdaq Composite did reach a high of 16,016 shortly after the opening bell. As of this writing, it’s hovering around 16,000, but with the all-time high less than 60 points away, the Nasdaq Composite could easily establish a new record closing high this week.
This is a huge week for quarterly earnings with almost 1,400 companies due to report. Among the names to watch this week are Arista Networks (NYSE: ANET) on Monday; Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) and Upstart (NASDAQ: UPST) on Tuesday; Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) on Wednesday; and Coinbase Global (NASDAQ: COIN) and DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG) on Thursday.
There is also some key economic news coming out this week, namely, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for January set for release on Tuesday. The consensus among analysts is for the year-over-year inflation number to tick below 3% to 2.9% — from 3.4% in December.
If it does indeed go below 3%, it would be the first time since March 2021 that the inflation rate has been below 3%. That could be good for the markets, as it would signal that the Federal Reserve is getting closer to its target of 2% inflation and potentially set the stage for interest rates to start coming down.
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