S&P 500 hits new all-time high; Dow crosses 18,000; What to watch next week

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Stocks pushed into record territory again Friday, with the S&P 500 (^GSPC) hitting a new all-time high of 2094.74 in midday trading. The Dow (^DJI) crossed above 18,000 and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) hit multi-year highs. Investors apparently were encouraged by signs of improving economic growth in the euro zone, and shrugged off a dip in U.S. consumer sentiment heading into the long holiday weekend.

Oil prices were up more than 3% in early afternoon trading, and U.S. treasury (^TNX) prices were falling, sending yields back above 2.00%.

The Swedish Central Bank this week was the latest to move its interest rate into negative territory. Most watchers of the U.S. Federal Reserve are expecting to see a rise in the benchmark U.S. interest rate this year, but the moves in Europe are prompting some to wonder if negative rates could happen in the U.S.

Order Backlog

Some retailers are growing concerned about a backlog at West Coast ports. Dockworkers have been in negotiations over a new contract since last May and talks have come to a standstill in recent weeks. Meanwhile, a deep freeze is forecast for the Northeast this weekend, following several weeks and many feet of snow from Boston to New York and Philadelphia.

What to Watch Next Week

The housing market will be in focus next week with housing starts and building permits on the economic calendar.

Among the earnings to watch: Walmart (WMT) reports quarterly results Thursday.

Let us know what you’re watching next week. Post a comment below.

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