US stocks climbed for the week and sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its first record of the year, as Greece reached an agreement on its bailout program and investors speculated that the Federal Reserve would keep the interest rates lower for longer.
The agreement excludes Greece from the risk of running out of money next month and the possibility of being forced out of the single currency region.
Bloomberg reported that the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.6% to a record 2,011. on the holiday-shortened week. The Dow average rose 0.7% or 121.09 points to 18,140.44 to hit its closing high of December 26. The Nasdaq Composite Index extended its rally to eight days and capped a 1.3% gain during the week. The Russell 2000 Index of small companies climbed 0.7% to a record.
Bill Schultz, who oversees $1.2 billion as chief investment officer at McQueen, Ball & Associates said, “There’s a degree of uncertainty that’s removed from the market. That paves the way for less concern about a potential slowdown in economic growth overseas. The market was sort of teetering there depending on what was going to be said and now we got a little bit of a reprieve.”
Ben Pace, chief investment officer at HPM Partners in New York was quoted by Reuters as having said, “You’re seeing a little bit better US economic statistics than you’ve been seeing over the past three or four weeks. The European statistics have gotten a lot better too. So maybe a relief rally today, because the markets were down as there was a lot of consternation going around.”
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