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Stocks extend holiday cheer: S&P, Dow end at records

U.S. stocks rose in light volume on Friday following the Christmas holiday, with the Dow and S&P 500 closing at records.

"Today we're heartened that the Russell 2000 continues to move forward. This may be one of the themes for 2015," said Jim Russell, portfolio manager at Bahl & Gaynor, referring to the index of small-cap companies, which rose to a record, and was lately up 4.4 percent for the year.

"We do see several tailwinds for small caps: a strong dollar, weak overseas economies and the domestic orientation of many," said Russell of the index that is recouping after falling 11 percent and hitting a one-year low in the middle of October after a five-week drop.

Shares of GoPro rose after Wedbush Securities had favorable comments about the wearable-camera maker's holiday sales.

Around the globe, most major markets were closed, with trading shuttered in cities including London, Paris, Milan, Hong Kong and Toronto.

"Seasonals are in our favor, as of all the trading days of the year, this one day is one that is most consistently up," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

"Usually the gift that gets delivered is retail sales tend to be better than expectations. We won't get the numbers until two weeks from now, but our checks from our consumer-facing research team came in very positive," Hogan said.

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S&P 500
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NASDAQ
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Benchmark indexes posted a second week of gains.

After rising 73 points to an intraday record, and extending gains into a seventh session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 23.50 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,053.71, advancing 1.4 percent on the week, with McDonald's pacing blue-chip gains that extended to 21 of 30 components.

Climbing 0.9 percent from last Friday's close, the S&P 500 gained 6.89 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,088.77, with utilities leading sector gains that extended to eight of its 10 major industry groups.

The Nasdaq gained 33.39 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,806.86, up 0.9 percent for the week.

For every share falling, two rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where 437 million shares traded. Composite volume approached 1.7 billion.

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Getty Images
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Crude-oil futures for February delivery erased gains and turned lower, ending at $54.73 a barrel, off 4 percent from a week ago. Gold futures for February delivery climbed $21.80 at $1,195.30 an ounce.

The U.S. dollar edged higher against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners; the yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell 2 basis points to 2.2492 percent.

On Wednesday, U.S. stocks ended near unchanged, with the Dow furthering its record climb, a day after its first trip above 18,000.

Read MoreDow ends at record after six-day win streak