NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks burst to their best day in three weeks on Friday, helping Wall Street return to record heights and avoid what could have been a second straight weekly loss.
The S&P 500 added 65.02 points, or 1.7%, to 3,974.54, with a quarter of that rise coming in the last five minutes of trading alone. Some of the biggest gains came from companies whose profits would jump the most if COVID-19 vaccinations and massive U.S. government spending programs juice the economy as much as economists expect. The index locked in a 1.7% gain for the week after losing 0.8% last week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 453.40 points, or 1.4%, to 33,072.88, and both it and the S&P 500 set all-time highs. The Nasdaq composite climbed 161.05, or 1.2%, to 13,138.72, though it remains 6.8% below its record set last month.
Stock prices have been churning in recent weeks, and momentum has often shifted sharply, sometimes by the hour. Rising expectations for a supercharged economic recovery are supporting many stocks on one hand, while worries about the possibility of higher inflation and rising interest rates are undercutting the market on the other.