Major stock indexes ended the week on a positive note, with solid gains as Wall Street weighed December retail sales data, consumer inflation data and another solid reading from the IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism index.
X The Dow Jones industrial average added 0.9%, while the Nasdaq composite and S&P 500 picked up 0.7% each. Small caps lagged, with the Russell 2000 up 0.3%. Preliminary data showed volume on the NYSE and Nasdaq coming in close to Thursday’s levels.
About one-third of the names in the Dow rose 1% or more, with Boeing (BA) leading the way, up around 2%. For the week, the Dow rose 2%, the Nasdaq composite rose 1.7% and the S&P 500 added 1.6%.
Department store operators outperformed after JPMorgan upgraded Kohl’s (KSS) to outperform from neutral. Shares jumped 4.5% to 63.87. A weekly chart shows that Kohl’s still could be in the early stages of breaking out of a long, cup-shaped base that started in December 2016.
The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism index hit a 10-month high in January, while the six-month personal financial outlook component jumped to its highest level since January 2004.
Core consumer inflation, which excludes volatile oil and gas prices, increased 0.3%, a tad above expectations and an accelerating from 0.1% in November, but the market shrugged it off.
Financial stocks were in the headlines early as JPMorgan (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), BlackRock (BLK) and PNC Financial (PNC) all reported earnings. BlackRock fared the best, rising 3%. JPMorgan also did well with a gain of around 1.5%. Wells Fargo and PNC lagged.
In the stock market today, Facebook (FB) had a rough day, falling 4.5%, as Wall Street worried about the fundamental impact as a result of a change to the company’s News Feed. Facebook ended the week just below the 50-day moving average and below its 184.35 buy point.
Inside the IBD 50, Paycom Software (PAYC) gapped up bullishly out of a flat base with an 86.20 buy point. Shares jumped 5% to 88.75. During a time of low-volume breakouts, Paycom’s breakout passed muster as volume was double its average.
At the New York Mercantile Exchange, U.S. crude oil futures settled higher for the fifth straight session Friday, rising 0.8% to $64.30 a barrel. For the week, the February contract rose about 4.7%.
A reminder: The stock market will be closed Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King holiday.