Dow Tops 17,000 and S&P 500 Hits Record High in Short Week of Trading

Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 index end week at record highs
A short week for stocks couldn’t dampen trader’s spirits as both the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 index hit new all-time highs in the week leading up to the Fourth of July. With stock markets taking a break to celebrate Independence Day on Friday, the Dow managed to top 17,000 for the first time ever for the last trading day this week, spurred to new heights by a June jobs report that came in stronger than expected. Stocks managed to add an extra $200 billion to their worth during the week.

The Dow ended the day up 22.02 points for a 0.54% gain. That left the Dow at a record 17,068.26 when trading ended, and a 1.3% gain from 16,851.84 points where it ended last week. It took it less than a year (227 days) to reach the milestone from when it sat at 16,000 points. It was the third day in the row the Dow managed to reach a record high. Even as it surpassed the 17,000 point mark, the Dow is actually under-performing both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ for the year. It’s up 3% since January, but both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ have managed gains of over 7% during the same time period.

The S&P 500 rose 10.82 points for a 0.55% gain for the day. It’s quickly approaching the 2,000 point mark, and ended the week at 1,985.44. That was a 1.25% gain for the week, and also the third straight record high for the index.

The NASDAQ Composite didn’t reach an all-time high, something we’re not likely to see for some time, due to the soaring heights when it closed above 5,000 during the dot-com bubble. It was up 28.19 points for the day for a 0.63% increase, for the highest level it’s been in 14 years. That left it at 4485.93 as the session ended, and 2% up for the week. Although it didn’t manage to reach a record high, the NASDAQ has managed to post a gain for seven out of the last eight weeks, and is up over 10% over the last two months.

The last day of the week the stock rally came primarily due to a jobs report for June which came in stronger than expected. Economists had expected a gain of 212,000 jobs for the month, but the economy actually added 288,000 in June. At the same time, the US unemployment rate hit its lowest level since September 2008 as it decreased to 6.1%. Both numbers encourage traders to see the US economy a solid foundation in place for strong US economic expansion in the second quarter, after a subpar start to the year.

(Photo courtesy of Dan Nelson)

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