U.S. stocks were little changed near record levels on Friday, with the Nasdaq Composite notching an intraday record, as investors struggled to maintain upside momentum following a nearly uninterrupted rise over the past two weeks.
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Major indexes are on track for their second straight weekly advance, and the Russell 2000 will chalk its 11th straight daily advance if it closes higher.
The market has been in an uptrend all month, but the gains accelerated after the unexpected election of Donald Trump. Many investors think that Trump's policy proposals--including massive cuts to corporate tax rates and financial and environmental deregulation--will spur growth. More than half of the S&P 500's postelection gains have come from the financial sector.
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"You can make the case that we'll have a more business-friendly environment in Washington, and at the same time, economic data has already been getting better, so our backdrop seems strong as well," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities. "This feels like a rally that can continue."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.86 points to 18,906, while the S&P 500 fell half a point to 2,187 and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.9 point to 5,336. Earlier, the Nasdaq traded as high as 5,346.60--an intraday record. All three indexes moved less than 0.1%.
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For the week, the Dow is up 0.3% while the S&P is up 1.1% and the Nasdaq is up 2%.
Energy stocks were among the strongest of the day, boosted by a 0.5% rise in the price of crude oil. Chevron Corp.(CVX) rose 0.4%.
Despite the gains on the day, investors are watching the U.S. dollar, which has been sharply higher of late, sending the ICE dollar index to its highest level since 2003. A stronger dollar can erode the profitability of large-cap companies, which is one reason investors have been moving to small-cap stocks since the election.
The continued strength in the dollar comes after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen signaled Thursday that a December interest-rate hike was likely to go ahead.
Need to know:The S&P 500 is also getting ever-so-close to a record
In a continuation of Thursday's action, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose 1 basis point to 2.31%.
Fed speakers ahead: Investors might look for guidance from more policy makers on Friday. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said at a conference in Frankfurt that he's leaning toward the likelihood of an interest-rate hike in December, according to a report from CNBC.
Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan will speak at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time in Houston, while Kansas City Fed President Esther George is set to talk at the Dallas Fed.
Also on the docket is Fed Gov. Jerome Powell, who is scheduled to appear at the San Francisco Fed.
Stocks to watch: Abercrombie & Fitch Co.(ANF) shares slid 13% as profit dived and the company announced a rebranding. Foot Locker Inc.(FL) lost 1.3% after it announced results.
Salesforce.com Inc.(CRM) rose 4% after the cloud-computing company posted rising revenue and boosted its outlook. But shares of Applied Materials Inc.(AMAT) fell 0.9% after the chip-equipment maker missed expectations for new orders.
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Gap Inc.(GPS) slid 9% after the retailer posted a weak outlook. late Thursday.
Other markets: European stocks pulled back slightly on Friday, led by banking and commodity names. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi signaled Friday that the central bank's stimulus will be extended for the region, whose economy remains clouded by risks.
Asian markets had a mixed day, though yen weakness gave a boost to the Nikkei 225 index , which rose 0.6%.
The dollar's move higher took a toll on gold, which dipped 0.4%.