The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq advanced to record levels on Friday night, buoyed by gains in technology stocks, while each of the major indexes closed out the quarter with solid gains.
Technology was the best performing of the major S&P sectors on Friday, up 0.8 per cent, its fourth straight day of gains to recover from a sell-off earlier in the week. The benchmark S&P index posted its sixth straight month of gains.
“It really sums up kind of what we saw all month and all quarter, another calm day,” said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial.
“This is one of the least volatile Septembers in history, it is kind of a continuation of that real dull trading with a nice upward bias.”
For September, the Dow gained 2.1 per cent, the S&P rose 1.9 per cent and the Nasdaq advanced 1.1 per cent.
Financials received a brief lift and hit their session high after reports President Donald Trump met with former Federal Reserve governor Kevin Warsh to discuss his potential nomination as Fed chairman. The sector was up 0.3 per cent.
Trump later said he has had four meetings in his search for a new chairman of the Federal Reserve board and will decide in two or three weeks.
“Rates and equities have priced in the current Fed regime continuing, which is a relatively sanguine path for the economy,” said Shehriyar Antia, chief market strategist at Macro Insight Group.
“Any deviation from that path – or the suggestion that Yellen may not be re- appointed – causes the market to reconsider this presumption and reprice valuations.”
Rising expectations for another interest rate hike by the year-end and Trump’s tax cut plan have dominated markets for most of the week.
The Dow Jones rose 0.1 per cent on Friday, the S&P 500 gained0.4 per cent, and the Nasdaq added 0.7 per cent. The S&P and the Dow recorded eight straight quarters of gains, the Nasdaq five. The Dow climbed 4.9 per cent for the third quarter, the S&P advanced 4 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 5.8 per cent.