S&P 500 gains slightly to wrap up 4th straight positive month, sits less than 1% from record high

S&P 500 gains slightly to wrap up 4th straight positive month, sits less than 1% from record high

U.S. stocks climbed on Friday as major averages headed for a winning week amid growing optimism over the U.S. economic recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 150 points. The S&P 500 rose 0.4% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.4%.

The S&P 500 is up more than 1% week to date and sits less than 1% from a record. The blue-chip Dow is also more than 1% higher over the same time period, on pace to break a two- week losing streak. The Nasdaq has gained 2.3%, on track for its best weekly performance since April 9.

Salesforce shares popped nearly 7% after the software company’s first-quarter earnings beat Wall Street expectations on its top and bottom lines. HP shares dropped 5% despite the company’s better-than-expected second-quarter results.

A key inflation indicator — the core personal consumption expenditures index — rose 3.1% in April, faster than expectations of a 2.9% increase but not as hot as many on Wall Street had feared. Meanwhile, the savings rate remained elevated at 14.9% last month, while consumer spending rose 0.5%, in line with estimates.

“This report puts the Fed in a really good place, inflation is up, but real yields are still low. This is basically the transitory sweet spot,” said Jamie Cox, managing partner at Harris Financial Group.

Meme stocks fueled by traders in Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum surged again on Friday with AMC shooting up over 30% before turning flat in wild trading.

The moves higher this week come as investors monitor the back-and-forth in Washington over a comprehensive infrastructure package that could further boost the economic recovery. Senate Republicans unveiled a $928 billion infrastructure counteroffer to President Joe Biden on Thursday. However, that’s well below Biden’s most recent proposal of $1.7 trillion.

For the month of May, the S&P 500 is slightly higher, while the Dow is up 2%. The Nasdaq is off by about 1.3%.

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