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.