U.S. stocks rose on Friday, lifting the S&P 500 to another record finish, as investors welcomed a better-than-expected read on U.S. consumer confidence and bypassed geopolitical worries.
"The bullish sentiment continues to build; August started out as an ugly month, but will close out with real gains," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.
"September may have a technical pullback, or a cooling off period," said Cardillo, referring to the market's oversold conditions.
Tesla Motors rose to a record after the electric-car maker said it would join Chinese mobile carrier China Unicom to construct charging stations across China; Apple advanced after the Financial Times reported the consumer technology company was working with Dutch chipmaker NXP to enable pay-by-touch capabilities to its smartphone; Google said it would develop drones to deliver goods, following Amazon.com, and The Wall Street Journal reported Johnson & Johnson would look for an acquirer for its medical-device making unit, valued at as much as $2 billion.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final take on consumer sentiment rose to 82.5 in August from 81.8 the month before.
Ahead of the open, stock-index futures trimmed gains after consumer spending unexpectedly declined in July, off 0.1 percent after rising 0.4 percent the month before, the Commerce Department said.
Data from overseas had euro-zone inflation declining to a five-year low this month, with consumer costs in the 18 nations that use the euro climbing 0.3 percent year-on-year last month, the European Union's statistics office Eurostat reported.
"The U.S. economy continues to show strength, and deflation in Europe is getting worse, and spreading through the euro zone, as we saw in CPI numbers today, which brings us back to the fact that sooner or later (European Central Bank President Mario) Draghi is going to have to use some sort of quantitative easing. That's a positive, also for U.S. stocks," said Cardillo.
"The drug effect of liquidity in the marketplace continues to be the positive factor," Cardillo added.