Stocks rise for third week; records set

MarketWatchMay 11, 2013 

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks rose Friday as Wall Street racked up a third week of record-setting gains while considering global monetary easing and as finance ministers started a two-day meeting.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 35.87 points to 15,118.49, its highest close ever.

Also finishing at an all-time high, the Standard & Poor's 500 index added 7.03 points to 1,633.70.

"My sense is that we will see some weakness in the very short term, but that weakness will set up the markets for the next push higher, eventually carrying the S&P 500 towards the 1,700 mark by July," said Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James & Associates.

Gap Inc. shares gained 5.6 percent after the clothing retailer projected first-quarter profit above expectations.

A steep decline in commodity prices slammed shares of energy and natural-resources companies, while the dollar rose to a four-and-a-half-year high against the Japanese yen.

Energy companies including Tesoro Corp. fell as oil prices dropped 35 cents to $96.04 a barrel.

Shares of Hess Corp. declined 2.3 percent after the oil-and-gas company said it would strip CEO John Hess of his chairman title after its annual meeting next week.

The Nasdaq composite index rose 27.41 points to 3,436.58, with the index drawing a lift a day after Nvidia Corp. and Priceline.com Inc. reported quarterly profits that beat estimates.

The benchmark indexes all settled with weekly gains, with the Dow up 1 percent, the S&P 500 ahead 1.2 percent and the Nasdaq composite rising 1.7 percent from last Friday's close.

The rise has short-sellers scrambling to cover bearish bets this week on high-profile stocks including Tesla Motors Inc. and Groupon Inc.

On the Comex in New York, gold futures retreat

ed $32 to end at $1,436.60 an ounce.

In its monthly budget statement released Friday afternoon, the Treasury reported the U.S. tallied its largest budget surplus in five years last month, when tax payments come due.

Treasury prices fell, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note used in determining mortgages and other consumer loans rising to 1.90 percent.

In Chicago, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke detailed efforts to regulate risk in the financial markets.

Speaking at the Chicago Fed's yearly gathering on bank structure and competition, Bernanke said the U.S. central bank is keeping a close eye on the potential risks that come with interest rates being so low.

Vietnam and Sri Lanka reduced their interest rates Friday, the latest such moves by global central banks, according to Bloomberg News.

On Thursday, U.S. equities tallied mild losses, even as data showed weekly jobless claims at a five-year low and as the dollar surged above 100 Japanese yen for the first time in more than four years.

The yen's decline follows recent large stimulus moves by the Bank of Japan, with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Friday telling CNBC that he would tell Japan to play by the rules to avoid competitive devaluations.

Lew spoke from the sidelines of a two-day meeting of the Group of Seven finance ministers, which started Friday in Britain.

"Yesterday's stutter-step seemed to be caused by a sharp reversal in the dollar, which spiked on the upside, combined with a downside reversal on the Treasury bond," noted Saut.

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