January 6, 2017 / 12:24 PM / 7 months ago

Boosted by Apple, Wall Street parties like it's 19,999

4 Min Read

(Reuters) - The Dow came within one point of 20,000 for the first time on Friday and the Nasdaq and S&P 500 reached record highs, boosted by Apple, extending a two-month rally fueled by optimism about U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

Apple (AAPL.O) climbed 1.1 percent after Canada's Competition Bureau did not find sufficient evidence the iPhone maker had engaged in anti-competitive conduct, closing a two-year investigation into the company.

Wall Street has been on a tear since Trump won the U.S. election in November, with the Dow up 9 percent as investors bet he will stimulate the economy with lower taxes and infrastructure spending. While Friday's gains suggested the rally was not yet over, some investors have grown cautious.

"The market's advance is understandable because of the economic stimulus optimism associated with a new Trump presidency," said CFRA chief investment strategist Sam Stovall. "But parabolic market advances traditionally experience digestion of these gains, and I don't think this time will be any different."

The record trading session followed a U.S. Labor Department report that showed the economy added fewer-than-expected jobs last month but wages increased, suggesting resilience in the labor market.

Stocks did not react significantly to a report that five people were dead in a shooting at Florida's Fort Lauderdale airport.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 64.51 points, or 0.32 percent, to end at 19,963.8 points. The index rose as high as 19,999.63 but lost ground. Goldman Sachs (GS.N) rose 1.48 percent, helping the Dow more than any other stock.

The S&P 500 .SPX gained 7.98 points, or 0.35 percent, to 2,276.98, its highest close ever. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 33.12 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,521.06, also a record.

Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors rose, led by the technology sector's .SPLRCT 0.96 percent gain.

The value of the Dow Jones Industrial Average is shown above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as it nears 20,000 in New York, U.S., January 6, 2017.Lucas Jackson

For the week, the Dow rose 1 percent while the S&P gained 1.7 percent and the Nasdaq jumped 2.6 percent.

Investors Eye Earnings

The strength of fourth-quarter earnings reports from U.S. companies over the next few weeks will be closely watched by investors eyeing high stock valuations.

Slideshow (7 Images)

Following its recent gains, the S&P 500 is trading at about 17 times expected earnings, pricey compared to its 10-year average of 14, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream.

Analysts on average expect fourth-quarter earnings to rise 6.1 percent compared to a year before, when slumping oil prices crippled energy companies, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

During the session, Amgen (AMGN.O) rose 2.48 percent after a U.S. district judge blocked Sanofi (SASY.PA) and Regeneron (REGN.O) from selling their cholesterol drug, which Amgen said infringed its patents. Regeneron fell 5.84 percent and was the biggest percentage loser on the S&P 500.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.11-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.21-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 24 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 76 new highs and 15 new lows.

About 6.4 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges, a bit under the 6.7 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.

Addtional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Meredith Mazzilli

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