For a second day in a row, all three benchmark averages hit record highs, powered by expectations that less government regulation and increased fiscal spending will fuel economic growth in a Trump administration. Technology and consumer staple stocks were outperforming, offsetting losses in the financial and material sectors.
Accordingly, the Dow is expected to end the week higher for a fifth consecutive week.
Wall Street was also encouraged by the continued improvement in consumer sentiment as evidenced by a monthly survey compiled by the University of Michigan. Attributing the continued rise in confidence to the outcome of the presidential election, the preliminary October sentiment index hit a near two-year high of 98.0 from 93.8 in November, the second highest read since Jan 2004, and well above expectations of 94.1.
Friday's other economic data was encouraging as well as wholesale inventories dropped 0.4% in October, while sales swelled by 1.4%, lowering the inventory/sales ratio to 1.30 months from 1.32 months in September, the lowest ratio since early 2015.
European bourses were mostly higher with investors still focused on the dovish bias of the European Central Bank. On Thursday, the ECB kept interest rates unchanged, but adjusted their asset purchase program by extending the duration to Dec 2017, while cutting back the size by EUR20 billion ($21 billion) beginning in April.
ECB President Mario Draghi, however, cautioned that if inflation remains below target, and economic conditions warrant, the bank is prepared to increase stimulus measures.
As a result, the Euro Stoxx 600 had its best week in 10 months, buoyed by gains in the Italian banking sector which put in its best performance in four years thanks to bottom-fishing in the wake of Sunday's referendum outcome. Investors were taking advantage of what analysts now call a "distressed opportunity" in Italian banking stocks.
Crude oil was up $0.55 to $51.39 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.05 to $3.75 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down $12.10 to $1,160.90 an ounce, while silver was down $0.07 to $17.03 an ounce. Copper was up $0.02 to $2.65 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 0.72% to $11.39 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was up 0.43% to $9.41. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was down 2.82% to 20.86 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 0.78% $110.71. The iShares Silver Trust was down 0.56% to $16.05.
Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index was up 3.31 points (+0.03%) to 11,153.27
Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 66.09 points (+0.34%) to 19,680.90
S&P 500 was up 7.30 points (+0.32%) to 2,253.49
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 22.51 points (+0.42%) to 5,439.86
FTSE 100 was up 24.98 points (+0.36%) to 6,956.53
DAX was up 29.91 points (+0.27%) to 11,209.33
CAC 40 was up 28.59 points (+0.60%) to 4,764.07
Nikkei 225 was up 230.90 points (+1.23%) to 18,996.37
Hang Seng Index was down 100.86 points (-0.44%) to 22,760.98
Shanghai China Composite Index was up 17.52 points (+0.54%) to 3,232.88
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index was down 0.86 points (-0.01%) to 11,486.60
NYSE Financial Sector Index was down 23.89 points (-0.33%) to 7,074.35
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was up 162.92 points (+1.40%) to 11,780.56
(+) SWC (+18.84%) To be acquired by Sibayne Gold ( SBGL ) for $18 per share
(+) IDXG (+35.72%) Aetna has agreed to provide coverage for ThyraMir thyroid test
(+) AVGO (+4.83%) Reported better-than-expected Q4 results, raised dividend
(-) SCON (-29.46%) Priced $10.2 million offering at 25.7% discount
(-) DLTH (-22.90%) Misses Q3 revenue expectations, lowers FY16 guidance below street estimates
(-) MVIS (-20.60%) Priced 12.1 million share offering at $1.07 per share
(-) XTLY (-20.21%) Reported a Q3 loss of $4.2 million, issued weak FY16 guidance
(-) RH (-15.21%) Beats Q3 earnings estimates but guides Q4 below street expectations
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