Fresh off a blowout January, stocks started February with a bang, as telecom shares led a broad rally.
The telecom sector in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index jumped 1.9%, its biggest gain since Jan. 2, as Verizon Communications (VZ)
Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 149.21 points, or 1.1%, to 14009.79, topping 14000 for the first time since October 2007. The blue-chip index, which advanced 0.8% on the week, is 155 points from breaking its record close.
Just five stocks in the S&P 500 rose more than 4%, but the index had a deep enough bench to post its second-biggest daily gain this year. The S&P 500 added 15.06 points, or 1%, to 1513.17, up 0.7% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 36.97 points, or 1.2%, to 3179.10, rising 0.9% on the week.
Financials and materials shares were among other top gainers. Bank of America (BAC)
Upbeat economic reports underpinned the gains. The Labor Department said job-growth readings for November and December were higher than initially reported. The Institute for Supply Management's January manufacturing purchasing managers' index, a measure of factory activity, rose more than economists expected. A preliminary reading of the Thomson-Reuters and University of Michigan consumer-sentiment index for January also rose more than expected. Construction spending for December increased.
European markets were mostly higher, with the Stoxx Europe 600 up 0.3%, after Markit's euro-zone purchasing managers' index contracted at the slowest rate in 11 months. Spanish stocks bucked the trend by selling off after a ban on short selling, or betting against shares, was lifted. The IBEX 35 index dropped 1.6%.
Asian markets were broadly higher on the back of strong Chinese manufacturing data and further weakness in the yen. China's Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.4% after HSBC (HSBA.LN)'s
Crude-oil prices rose 0.3%, to settle at $97.77 a barrel, while gold gained 0.5%, to settle at $1,669.40 a troy ounce. The dollar rallied versus the yen and fell against the euro. The 10-year Treasury note fell in price, pushing its yield up to 2.017%.
In other stock news, Merck (MRK)
Tyson Foods (TSN)
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