Wall St ends higher; indexes up for second straight week
NEW YORK (REUTERS) - United States (US) stocks closed higher on Friday, with major indexes notching a second straight week of gains as investors were once again willing to overlook some soft economic data stemming from bad weather.
Gains were broad, with the Nasdaq closing at its highest level since 2000 and nine of the 10 major S&P 500 sector indexes rising on the day. The only declining sector was telecom, which is viewed as a defensive play. Energy, which is closely tied to the pace of economic growth, was the day's biggest advancer, up 1.5 per cent.
US export prices rose 0.2 per cent in January, the third straight monthly increase in a potentially positive sign for global economic demand and the outlook for American manufacturers.
In the latest data point affected by harsh winter weather, factory production fell 0.8 per cent in January, the biggest drop in more than 4 and 1/2 years. Investors have been willing to forgive soft data of late, attributing weak results to bad weather as opposed to a slowing economy.