Stocks ended a holiday-shortened trading week decidedly higher as investors shrugged off rising interest rates and higher oil prices, focusing instead on positive economic data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the week up 1.4%, the S&P 500 rose 1.6%, while the Nasdaq Composite closed the week up 2.2%. Both the Dow and S&P 500 closed within striking distance of their June 4 historic highs.
The Dow and S&P ended the week within striking distance of all-time highs recorded on June 4, while the Nasdaq closed at levels not seen in six and a half years.
Stocks closed higher on Monday, as Wall Street kicked off the third quarter with triple-digit gains in the Dow amid falling interest rates.
"There's still a lot of money floating around the marketplace that's looking for a home," said Martin Weiss, president of Weiss Research Group. "It's driven by liquidity and not necessarily fundamental strength in the U.S. economy."
Research In Motion shares continued to soar, having announced stronger-than-expected earnings last week and a 3-for-1 stock split.
Apple reportedly sold about 525,000 iPhones in the first weekend since its launch, selling out of the device in half of the Apple stores on the U.S. West Coast, but received complaints from some customers who couldn't activate the phone.
Stocks closed a holiday-shortened session Tuesday with modest gains, following mixed economic data and crude oil prices that stretched above $71 a barrel. The major markets closed early ahead of the July 4 holiday.
Caterpillar , the biggest gainer in the Dow on Monday, was the biggest percentage loser on Tuesday after being downgraded by a UBS analyst.
Markets were closed on Wednesday in observance of the Independence Day holiday.
Stocks closed mixed on Thursday, as investors were encouraged by a strong batch of merger news. Rising interest rates, however, held back the market.
Hotel stocks were big gainers after Blackstone Group agreed to buyHilton Hotels for $20 billion.
Research in Motion shares continued to make new highs on news the company obtained clearance to sell its BlackBerry smartphones in China.
Tech stocks remained in focus after Microsoft said it would take a $1 billion charge related to its Xbox gaming console. The major indices erased modest early losses, following stronger-than-expected job growth in June. Another move higher in the yield on the ten-year Treasury note failed to deter buyers.