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U.S. stocks edged higher on Friday, with the Dow industrials and S&P 500 hitting records while extending gains into a sixth session, as both benchmarks tallied their fourth weekly gain in five.
Wall Street continues to react to the Federal Open Market Committee's monetary decision on Wednesday and the comments that followed from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, said Paul Nolte, a senior vice president and portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management: "she's telling financial markets, 'don't worry, be happy,' we're going to keep interest rates low."
Another strategist pointed to the ongoing rise in the semiconductor sector as an illustration that market participants anticipate increased economic growth ahead.
"Investors in those sectors are seeing increased GDP six months out, they are very cyclical, very GDP and consumer driven; it's signaling people buying semiconductors are looking for an upturn in the economy six months out, which dovetails very nicely with what Ms. Yellen was saying," said Joe Peta, managing director at Novus.
Darden Restaurants fell after the operator of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains fell reported a lower-than-expected quarter profit. Oracle declined after the provider of business technology tallied disappointing fiscal fourth-quarter results. AbbVie declined after Shire rejected its takeout offer.
Rising above its June 10 record close and intraday record set June 9, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 25.62 points, or 0.2 percent, ending at 16,947.08, up 1 percent for the week.
Furthering its record advance, the rose 3.39 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,962.87, up 1.4 percent for the week and 6.2 percent on the year. Energy performed the best and utilities the worst among its 10 major sectors. The session marked the S&P's 22nd record close this year.
After a dip into negative turf, the Nasdaq gained 8.71 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,368.04, gaining 1.3 percent from the week earlier.
For every three stocks falling, roughly four rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where 1.7 billion shares traded. Composite volume hit 4.2 billion.
After its biggest single-session jump in nine months, gold for August delivery on Friday turned higher, up $2.50, or 0.2 percent, to $1,316.60 an ounce. Crude-oil futures for July delivery rose 83 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $107.26 a barrel.
"A sharp rise in interest rates poses perhaps the biggest risk to the continued improvement in overall EPS (earnings per share) expectations and hence stock prices," Nick Raich, CEO at the Earnings Scout, noted in emailed research.
On Thursday, stocks were little changed, with the S&P 500 again finishing at a record high, a day after Wall Street rallied on reassurances from the Federal Reserve that interest rates would remain low as the U.S. economy continues to recover.
—By CNBC's Kate Gibson
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