December 21, 2014
Dow, S&P 500 end at record highs; S&P up for 6th day
US stocks rose today, driving the Dow and the S&P 500 to close at record highs as the shares of 330 companies hit 52-week highs on the New York Stock Exchange.
The S&P 500 scored its third record closing high in a row.
For the week, the three major US stock indexes rose 1 percent as investors brushed off geopolitical concerns about Iraq and focused on the Federal Reserve's comments indicating that it will keep interest rates low for a long period of time.
The benchmark S&P 500 has gained for six consecutive days, supporting a cautious view that a near-term correction may be inevitable.
The most notable indicators included the correlation of the CBOE Volatility Index, known as the VIX, with the S&P 500.
The VIX rose 2.2 percent to close at 10.85, still well below its long-term average of 20.
Volume was higher than usual as today marked a "quadruple witching" day - the expiration of stock options, index options, index futures and single-stock futures.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 25.62 points or 0.15 percent, to 16,947.08. The S&P 500 gained 3.39 points or 0.17 percent, to 1,962.87. The Nasdaq Composite added 8.71 points or 0.20 percent, to 4,368.04.
For the week, the Dow rose 1 percent, the S&P 500 climbed 1.4 percent and the Nasdaq gained 1.3 percent.
A rally in drugmaker Shire helped European bourses hold onto gains today on news the British firm had been the target of a takeover bid from US rival AbbVie.
Shire's stock added 0.8 points to the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300, which was up 1.3 points, or 0.1 percent, at 1,396.91 points at 0743 GMT.
Japanese shares were flat as investors booked profits after their rally to 4-1/2-month highs the previous day, but the mood remained upbeat with trade volume hitting its best level in three months.
The Nikkei was down 0.1 percent at 15,349.42 but up
1.7 percent on the week, the fifth straight week of gains and a whisker below a 4-1/2-month high of 15,361.16 hit yesterday, supported by hopes of loose US monetary policy.