Stocks advanced Friday, with energy stocks in the lead after an upbeat outlook from Chevron and a big natural-gas deal.
The Dow briefly broke above 11,000 — the first time it's been above that level since September 2008 — then settled a few points below that mark.
That wasn't the only benchmark this week: The CBOE volatility index closed at its lowest since October 2007. The 10-year yield crossed 4 percent for the first time, oil topped $87 a barrel and the Thomson Reuters same-store sales index hit a new record in March.
It was the sixth straight up week for stocks, the longest streak since April 2009.
Chevron was the biggest gainer on the Dow — today and for the week — after the oil giant delivered an upbeat outlook, saying its refining and marketing arm would return to profitability in the first quarter.
Adding fuel to the commodity fire was some M&A activity in the sector: Atlas Energy
Oil ended the week below $85 a barrelafter hitting an 18-month intraday high above $87 on Tuesday. Some analysts attributed the drop to a technical reversal.
Despite the dip, Jerry Castellini, president and CIO of Castleark Management said he still prefers oil over gold and advised investors to buy the sector.
“You don't have to worry about the holding of the commodity, you don't have to worry about the forward curve,” he said on CNBC today. “You can buy companies like EOG , Occidental Petroleum, Whiting Petroleum and Brigham Exploration ."
Gold prices hit a year-high while the dollar fell against the euroas speculation grew that Greece may get financial aid to tackle its debt crisis.
Alcoaskidded after the aluminum maker got another downgraded today: JPMorgan cut its rating to "neutral" from "overweight." Earlier this week, Deutsche Bank slashed its rating and and full-year forecast for the company amid worries about a weak first quarter.
Alcoa reports earnings on Monday, marking the unofficial kickoff to earnings season.
Overall, S&P 500 earnings are expected to be up 36.8 percent from a year ago, according to the latest survey by Thomson Reuters. It would be the second straight increase in earnings.
The first-quarter earnings trend is"definitely going to be higher," said Art Hogan, director at Jefferies.
“It’s one of those earnings seasons where we’ve had little or no pre-announcements to the downside, which probably means that the estimates for the S&P 500, which are up 36 percent year-over-year, are probably understated,” Hogan said on CNBC this morning.