Published February 18, 2011
FOX Business: The Power to Prosper
Wall Street capped off its third consecutive weekly rally in bullish fashion on Friday as the blue chips captured new two and-a-half-year highs and a late burst of buying tipped the Nasdaq Composite into the green.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 73.11 points, or 0.59%, to 12391.25, the Standard & Poor's 500 gained 2.58 points, or 0.19%, to 1343.01 and the Nasdaq Composite added 2.37 points, or 0.08%, to 2833.95. The FOX 50 picked up 0.47 points, or 0.05%, to 952.25.
Wall Street managed to chug higher after shaking off early concerns about China's latest efforts to cool off its red-hot economy, underscoring the markets' continued resiliency.
“Right now we’re in an environment where the negatives are shrugged off, the positives are accentuated, any dip is viewed as a buying opportunity and people remain unfailingly -- though complacently -- bullish,” said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities.
With the latest burst of buying, the blue chips clinched their 20th weekly rally of the last 25, a feat the bulls haven't accomplished since 1989. In fact, the three-week leap of 4.8% for the benchmark index was its best since August. For the year, the blue chips have climbed 7%.
Boosted by soaring Intuit (INTU) and Oracle (ORCL), the Nasdaq Composite eked out a minor gain at the closing bell, landing at its best level since October 31, 2007. In fact, the index, which had been pressured by a 2% decline for Apple (AAPL), is off just 0.88% from its 10-year high of 2859.12.
“It’s pretty hard to shake the confidence of the bulls right now,” said James. “The consensus sentiment is that the market at worst is heading slightly lower and at best sharply higher.”
Wall Street proved to be mostly unfazed by China's decision to raise reserve requirements on banks for the second time in 2011, the latest efforts by the Asian giant to prevent its economy from overheating. Some traders remain concerned China will be too aggressive in fighting in inflation, disrupting the global recovery.
After a busy beginning of the week, there weren't any major economic or earnings reports released on Friday.
However, traders were watching shares of tech titan Apple, which retreated after The Wall Street Journal reported U.S. regulators have begun to look at the terms it set this week for media companies to sell their content on the iPad and other devices. The report marks the latest antitrust scrutiny facing Steve Jobs-run Apple.
Energy stocks had been the leaders but fell out of favor after crude oil took an afternoon dive. Crude settled down 16 cents a barrel, or 0.19%, to $86.20. Gold gained $3.50 a troy ounce, or 0.25%, to $1,388.20.
Campbell Soup (CPB) slumped 4% to 52-week lows after reporting in-line quarterly results, but slashing its full-year guidance. Campbell said it now sees EPS declining 1% to 3% in 2011, compared with its earlier view for a rise of 2% to 4%.
Intel (INTC) unveiled plans to build a $5 billion chip factory in Arizona that the company said will be the most advanced, high volume semiconductor manufacturing facility in the world. Intel said the factory will create “thousands” of construction and permanent manufacturing jobs.
Calpine (CPN) said it lost 5 cents a share as its revenue declined 4.7% to $1.47 billion last quarter. Analysts had called for EPS of 9 cents on $1.34 billion in revenue. Despite the red ink, Calpine stood by its 2011 guidance.
The U.K.'s FTSE 100 slid 0.07% to 6082.99, Germany's DAX gained 0.29% to 7426.81 and France's CAC 40 advanced 0.12% to 4157.14.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 closed up 0.06% to 10842.80, Hong Kong's Hang Seng soared 1.26% to 23595.20 and China's Shanghai Composite dropped 0.93% to 2899.79.