US indexes hit record highs

It was another good week for the stock market. The Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index both ended Friday at record highs. It was the third consecutive day the S&P 500 index reached a new record, and it’s now up 6.2% for 2014. The Dow is also up for the year at 2.2%. All the major stock indexes managed to finish the week ahead of where they started at the beginning of the week.

For the week, the S&P 500 index managed to gain 3.39 points to 1,962.87, an increase of 0.17%. The weekly gain is becoming a welcome trend. The S&P 500 has managed to end the week ahead in five of the last six weeks, and it’s the 22nd time this year it’s managed to hit a record high.

The Dow had a slightly smaller percentage gain in the S&P 500 coming in with an increase of 0.15%. That was 25.62 points more than the previous week, and the Dow ended at 16,947.08. This broke the previous record high which was set on June 10, 2014 when it ended at 16,945.92.

While the NASDAQ Composite continued to make gains, it’s still well below the soaring heights of the dot-com era when it managed to peak at over 5,000. It managed a 0.20% increase for the week, or 8.71 points, to end at 4,360.04. While not a all-time record, it is the highest level in 14 years

US government bonds slipped a fraction during the week, with the year for the 10 year Treasury note ending at 2.61%. This was down 0.01% from Thursday.

While all the major indexes were able to finish up, the moves have been coming in small increments. It appears the market is currently focusing on the specific performance of individual companies, rather than the geopolitical unrest in Iraq and Ukraine, and questions about the US economy.

The midweek remarks from the Federal Reserve indicating they plan to keep short-term interest rates low also helped stocks for the week. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) release a statement saying interest rates remained unchanged at 0.00% to 0.25% at the end of their two-day meeting.

Whether week ahead brings about new record highs will depend a lot on housing data which will be coming out during next week, as well as if there are any major new geopolitical developments.