U.S. equities closed higher on Friday, posting weekly gains, as investors kept an eye on retailers during Black Friday as a post-election rally moved forward.
"I think this more of a follow-through" from the bullish sentiment in the market after the election," said David Schiegoleit, managing director of investments at U.S Bank Private Client Reserve. "The rally might be getting a bit long, but the market will be looking for policy direction" from the government in the near term.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose about 70 points, hitting a new record high, as 3M and IBM contributed the most gains. The S&P 500 also shot to a new record, closing 0.4 percent higher as utilities gained 1.4 percent to lead advancers. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.34 percent, closing above a previous record of 5,392.26. The three major indexes were also up more than 1 percent for the week and extended their weekly winning streak to three.
The Russell 2000, which is made up of small-cap stocks, closed higher to hit a new record level and notch its longest winning streak since 1996. The U.S. stock market closed at 1 p.m. on Friday.
"The Trump honeymoon continues. The focus now shifts to Black Friday and holiday sales," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial. However, he said "whatever happens today will be on light volume" because several investors and traders were out celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.
Several retailers kicked off Black Friday sales on Thursday. J.C. Penney opened its doors Thursday at 3 p.m., while Macy's began sales at 5 p.m. Thursday. Retail giant Wal-Mart, meanwhile, began offering Cyber Monday deals on Friday, coming off the announcement that it would significantly increase its online inventory.
The major U.S. stock indexes have been on a tear lately, ripping to new record highs on optimism that President-elect Donald Trump's proposed policies would stimulate economic growth.
"From a technical perspective, it seems like we're going higher, ... but we're bound to hit a road block," said First Standard's Cardillo, who noted that, while the market has priced in a December Federal Reserve rate hike, it may not have priced in more aggressive tightening by the central bank. According to the CME Group's FedWatch tool, market expectations for a rate hike next month are more than 90 percent.