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The broad S&P 500 posted its best week since December on the back of upbeat fiscal news, testimony from Fed chief Yellen and mixed economic data.
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According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 126 points, or 0.79%, to 16154, the S&P 500 advanced 8.8 points, or 0.48%, to 1839 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 3.4 points, or 0.08%, to 4244.
For the week, the Dow jumped 2.3%, the S&P 500 advanced 2.3% and the Nasdaq rallied 2.9%.
Traders had no lack of information to parse through on the week. Congress passed a bill to boost the debt limit until 2015. The move garnered attention since the path to previous debt-ceiling hikes have been paved with tense negotiations that have roiled Wall Street. Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen said the central bank will use a careful hand in backing out of its massive stimulus program, delighting traders.
Markets across Europe posted gains on the day amid signs the once struggling eurozone economy is staging a comeback. The 18-member currency bloc expanded at a quarter-over-quarter pace of 0.3% in the fourth quarter, topping estimates of 0.2%.
In a positive sign, "the breakdown shows consumption turning positive for the first time since 2010 and investment was the main driver," according to analysts at Nomura.
The upbeat sentiment pervaded U.S. markets after a closely-watched gauge on consumer sentiment held steady in early February, compared to expectations it would fall.
Still, the Federal Reserve said industrial production slumped 0.3% in January, widely missing estimates of a 0.3% gain. Factory output dropped 0.8% in the biggest drop since 2009. The central bank said the bad weather across the country might have impacted the data.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said export prices in January rose 0.2% from December, while economists expected prices to remain unchanged. Import prices, meanwhile, rose 0.1%, above the 0.1% fall Wall Street was looking for.
In corporate news, Jos. A. Bank (NYSE:JOSB) said it would buy the Eddie Bauer clothing brand from private-equity firm Golden Gate Capital.
Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures fell 26 cents, or 0.26%, to $100.08 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline slumped 0.26% to $2.77 a gallon. Gold jumped $17.20, or 1.3%, to $1,317 a troy ounce.