U.S. stocks finished marginally higher on Friday to set another round of record closes.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 27.7 points, or 0.1%, for a new all-time high. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite both rose 0.5%.
The major averages finished with modest gains for the week, as the strong rally to begin February has taken a slight breather. The blue-chip Dow posted two little changed days this week, while the S&P 500 fluctuated within 0.2% for three days in a row.
The S&P 500 finished the week with a gain of 1.2%, while the Dow added 1%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 1.7%.
“Is the path to much higher equities becoming smaller … to put it differently, are the bulls attempting to thread a needle? Seems that way near term,” Dennis De Busschere, macro research analyst at Evercore ISI, said in a note.
Shares of Disney erased earlier gains and traded 1.7% lower even after the company reported strong growth in paid streaming subscribers and crushed expectations in its earnings report for its fiscal first quarter of 2021. Disney said it now has almost 95 million paid subscribers on its Disney+ streaming service.
The market ground higher to notch records this month as investors remained hopeful for a smooth economic reopening as well as additional Covid stimulus. The Dow has gained 4.9% in February, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have rallied 5.9% and 7.8%, respectively. The S&P 500 has raked in ten record closes in 2021.
Cyclical sectors, those most sensitive to an economic rebound, led the rally in February. Energy is up more than 13% month to date, with financials and materials also among the leading sectors.
President Joe Biden said Thursday his administration has secured deals for another 200 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from Moderna and Pfizer, bringing the U.S. total to 600 million. He added the U.S. will have enough supply for 300 million Americans by end of July.
“Between the ongoing medical and economic improvements, markets continue to expect a much better 2021 and that has supported prices,” Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network, said in a note. “Fourth-quarter earnings are coming in well ahead of expectations, and analysts are now adjusting their 2021 earnings estimates upwards.”
— CNBC’s Thomas Franck and Pippa Stevens contributed reporting.
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