The U.S. stock markets closed strong on Friday with S&P 500 and Nasdaq hovering around multi-year highs. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones gained on Friday after the traders were anxiously waiting for the Federal Reserve policy past week.
After the dotcom bubble left the markets in a long term bear market phase, the Nasdaq composite has registered consistent gains. The Nasdaq biotech index gained 0.5 percent on Friday, marking nearly 7.5 percent gain during the past eight trading sessions. Pharmaceutical company Biogen Idec jumped nearly 10 percent after the company announced positive outcomes of its experimental Alzheimer’s drug.
Sports gear and apparel maker Nike posted better than expected quarterly results, leading the stock to 52-week high. The stock also helped broader market index and provided a much needed sentiment boost after three weeks of decline in the stock market. Despite the increase in U.S. dollar valuation compared to Euro, Nike posted strong results.
Nasdaq closed 22 points lower than its record closing high. S&P 500 closed 10 points lower than its record closing level. Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 168 points higher at 18,127. The markets have remained strong over the past few months as the economy has improved. Most of the companies, except the energy giants, have posted results as per market expectations. Due to decline in oil prices over the past eight months, consumers have more money to spend on consumer durables and other necessities. Consumer spending is the biggest growth driver in the country.
During the week, Down Jones Industrial Average gained 2.1 percent. S&P 500 gained 2.7 percent. Nasdaq gained 3.2 percent over the week. 86 stocks in the S&P 500 index touched 52-week high during the week. 209 stocks touched 52-week high in the Nasdaq Composite.
According to data collected by Thomson Reuters, S&P 500 companies are expected to post 6.7 percent year-on-year growth in earnings per share for the fourth quarter. The CBOE Volatility Index closed 7.4 percent lower at 13.02 indicating higher investor confidence.