Investors celebrated Tax Day with a broad-based rally as stocks were also boosted by Citigroup's strong earnings report. Just a week after the world's largest financial services company disappointed investors with its restructuring plan, Citigroup posted positive first-quarter earnings, sending stocks higher across the board on Monday, led by a 2.1% gain in the financials sector.
On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average made an intraday move above the record close of but closed just 13 points shy. The blue chip index was boosted by strong quarterly reports from Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson, as corporate earnings continued to exceed consensus expectations.
Stocks ended mixed on Wednesday after two notable tech names disappointed investors. The S&P 500 ended just above the unchanged mark while the Nasdaq lagged, following weak results from Yahoo and IBM. The financial sector added to positive momentum after JP Morgan Chase closed at a new high on earnings news.
"We're in the middle of a sustained rally that is being driven by earnings, as investors' worst fears have proved to be somewhat overblown," said Frederic Dickson, chief market strategist at DA Davidson.
On Thursday, markets opened lower after China reported an 11% rise in GDP and a two-year high in inflation, triggering concerns its central bank may interest rates. Investors were quick to shrug off concerns and the Dow closed at another new high.
On Friday, the Dow powered closer to the 13,000 mark, rising more than 100 points on stronger-than-expected earnings news from several Dow components. Google rose after the company's strong earnings report released Thursday after the bell while Dow component Caterpillar shares surged Friday after it posted stronger-than-expected profits.