Close Update: Stock Indexes End Week Higher as S&P Finishes Best Quarter in a Decade
Stock indexes closed higher on Friday with the S&P 500 completing its best quarter in a decade and best first quarter in 21 years.
Equities rose to end the week amid optimism about a trade deal between the US and China. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin traveled to Beijing this week for two-day talks, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will be in Washington next week as the world's two largest economies attempt to hammer out an agreement.
Economic data released Friday showed personal spending in January grew by 0.1%, missing consensus for a 0.3% gain but ahead of December's decline of 0.5%. Personal income, meanwhile, rose 0.2% in February, just below consensus for a 0.3% increase.
The March Chicago Purchasing Managers Index was reported at a 58.7 print, missing expectations for a 60.3 reading and was well below the prior 64.7. The final University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index came in at 94.8, topping consensus for a 97.8 print.
New home sales in February were reported at 667,000 versus estimates for 615,000 and the prior revised level of 636,000.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8%, the S&P 500 gained 0.7% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.8% on Friday. Nine of the 11 S&P sectors were higher on Friday, led by health companies that gained 1.2% and industrials that added 1% for the day. The only decliners were energy, which fell 0.2%, and real estate, which lost 0.1%.
Oil futures surged with West Texas Intermediate rising 1.5% and Brent crude adding 0.8%.
Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 211.22 points (+0.82%)
S&P 500 added 18.96 points (+0.67%)
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 60.15 points (+0.78%)
FTSE 100 was up 44.86 points (+0.62%) to 7,279.19
Hang Seng Index was up 276.15 points (+0.96%) to 29,051.36
Shanghai China Composite Index was up 95.81 points (+3.2%) to 3,090.76
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