The Dow Jones industrial average nearly closed at a new record high. The stock index inched close to its all-time high Friday and just short of its record level. The Dow increased 35 points to rise for the second straight week. It closed the week on a fresh five year high and its third best of all time.
The Dow closed at 14,089.66, just 75 point below its highest level of 14,164.53 that was reached on October 9, 2007. Since going higher than 14,000 on February 1, the index can’t get the additional 165 points to break the record.
Most analysts believe that this will happen due to the high confidence sentiment of consumers and investors. Stocks are likely to go up some more. The market would be volatile and hard in the next couple of months.
The Standard & Poor’s 50 index is 3 percent away from a new record high. It is dragged down by Apple, which dropped 2.5 percent to $430.47 on Friday. Since its mid-September high, Apple fell 39 percent.
Stocks increased even if a budget standoff was happening in Washington. The sequestration that is worth $85 billion took effect Friday after federal lawmakers could not reach an agreement to avert the spending cuts.
If the economic uncertainties from the budget standoff haven’t occurred, the Dow could have reached its record high already. Some experts said that the stocks increased because of the sequestration instead of in spite of it. They said that investors cheer anything that comes out of Washington that decreases budget deficits.
Consumer sentiment index from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan increased 5.1 percent last month compared to January. The reading of 77.6 was up 3.1 percent compared to the same period last year.
Unemployment rate went up to 7.9 percent in January. The economy added 157,000 jobs and weekly jobless claims were down.
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