Stock Market Report For Week Ended November 20, 2015
The stock market closed out its best week of the year Friday as big gains by retailers and technology companies pushed major indexes higher.
Stocks faded as Friday wore on, but they still finished higher — the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index climbed almost 3.3 percent this week, its biggest weekly gain of the year.
The S.&P. climbed Monday and Wednesday as the U.S. market seemed to be unaffected by a string of unsettling international events, including last Friday’s terrorist attack in Paris. Instead, investors appeared to be concluding that the U.S. economy remains strong.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 91.06 points, or 0.5 percent, to 17,823.81. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index added 7.93 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,089.17. The Nasdaq gained 31.28 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,104.92. The Dow turned positive for the year by a fraction of a point.
“Throughout the week we got more and more news that the Federal Reserve was assessing the economy favorably,” said Erik Davidson, chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Private Bank.
He said investors had slowly gotten used to the idea that the Federal Reserve is going to raise interest rates. That prospect had worried them greatly a few months ago, but now stocks are rising because investors are taking heart that the Fed believes the economy is on solid footing. Meanwhile, new economic stimulus in Europe could strengthen the global economy.
Investors snatched up shares of retailers as a more complex picture of the U.S. consumer emerges, one in which some brands may emerge as winners this year.
Just a week ago it appeared that the sector might be in for a dismal holiday shopping season after gloomy earnings reports were issued by blue-ribbon retailers like Macy’s and Nordstrom. But there has since been a raft of stronger reports from retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch and Foot Locker, and indexes that track retail shares have had a surge this week.