Stocks concluded the week on a high note Friday, climbing to new record highs a day after President Donald Trump promised to release a tax plan in the near future.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose about 100 points, with Caterpillar contributing the most gains.
“Investors were worried that the tax plan was pushed to the backburner. Now, investors are celebrating that it’s not,” said Kim Forrest, senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital.
The S&P 500 gained 0.36 percent, with energy, materials and industrials leading advancers. Lifting the energy sector were oil prices, as U.S. crude futures for March delivery popped 1.6 percent to settle at $53.86 per barrel after the International Energy Agency reported that OPEC members’ cuts in January equated to 90 percent of the agreed volumes.
The market “continues to feed on itself. I think that part of the impetus is the S&P has confirmed a new all-time high, along with the Dow and Nasdaq,” said Daniel Deming, managing director at KKM Financial. He added that Trump’s initiatives “keep being received as positive.”
The Nasdaq composite gained about 0.33 percent. The three major indexes also posted weekly gains.
Major indexes this week
“When he said the words ‘phenomenal tax plan,’ that gave hope to the market that we were going to get a tax plan sooner,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial. “He basically spurred the market, saying he hasn’t forgotten about tax reform. That issue was at the core of the market’s embrace of Trump’s agenda, along with deregulation.”
Trump said Thursday in a meeting with airline executives that “lowering the overall tax burden on American business is big league … that’s coming along very well,” adding that an announcement would come over the next two or three weeks. Stocks climbed to record highs following those remarks.
“But who was in the market yesterday? Trading volume was low, and it was algorithms that were triggered immediately, lifting the market,” said Krosby, noting that trading desks were not as active in the northeast Thursday because of a snowstorm that hit the region.
Nevertheless, other asset classes also reacted to Trump’s remarks. Treasury yields and the dollar gained ground. On Friday, the benchmark U.S. 10 yield rose to trade at 2.409 percent, while the short-term two-year yield hovered around 1.2 percent.
Gold futures for April delivery, meanwhile, fell 90 cents to settle at $1,235.90 per ounce.
“It should be kept in mind that the ongoing Trump developments have heavily eroded investor risk appetite while political risks continue to weigh on global sentiment. Although the yellow metal remains slightly pressured on the daily charts, bulls could reclaim control if the $1220 regions defend,” Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM, said in a note.
Equities, along with the dollar and Treasury yields, have skyrocketed since Trump’s election on the prospects of more business friendly and reflationary policies.
“The rally yesterday in stocks after Trump said he will unveil a ‘phenomenal’ tax plan made sense because we wanted to see him focus on what was most important and not get distracted by other noise and tweets. There remains though the issue of what will be unveiled,” said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, in a note.
In economic news, import prices rose 0.4 percent in January, more than the expected 0.2 percent increase. Export prices rose 0.1 percent last month, in line with estimates. preliminary consumer sentiment for February came in at 95.7, below the expected 98.5.
Overseas, European stocks traded slightly higher, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 index advancing around 0.16 percent. In Asia, stocks closed mostly higher, as Chinese trade figures topped economist expectations.
The S&P 500 gained 8.23 points, or 0.36 percent, to end at 2,316.10, with materials leading 10 sectors higher and consumer staples lagging.
The Nasdaq composite advanced 18.95 points, or 0.33 percent, to close at 5,734.13.
About three stocks advanced for every decliner at the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 788.59 million and a composite volume of 3.467 billion at the close.
The CBOE Volatility index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded near 10.82.