Since falling to a near three-month low on Aug. 7, the S&P 500 has
risen in 12 of the past 16 sessions. It is also closed out its
fourth straight weekly advance and sixth positive month of the past
seven. Friday's gains pushed the index to its latest record close of
2,003.37, its third finish above 2,000 this week.
Wall Street initially lost ground after Britain introduced a note of
caution into the market, raising its international terrorism threat
level to the second highest in response to possible attacks being
planned in Syria and Iraq.
In the latest economic data, business activity in the U.S. Midwest
rebounded more than expected in August, signaling a pickup in that
region's economy. Separately, U.S. consumer sentiment rose more than
expected, according to the final August reading from the Thomson
Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers.
"We reached and closed above the 2,000 milestone this week and that
gets the mental obstacle out of the way," said Andre Bakhos,
managing director at Janlyn Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New
"Economic numbers have been positive for the most part, people are
drawing comfort from these numbers, using them as a justification
Economic numbers have helped to offset geopolitical concerns, with
flare ups in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia helping to curb
gains. Ukraine called for full membership in NATO on Friday, its
strongest plea yet for Western military help, after accusing Russia
of sending in armored columns that have driven back its forces on
behalf of pro-Moscow rebels.
The Dow Jones Industrial average <.DJI> rose 18.88 points, or 0.11
percent, to 17,098.45, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 6.63 points, or
0.33 percent, to 2,003.37 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added
22.58 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,580.27.
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For the week, the Dow rose 0.6 percent, the S&P advanced 0.7 percent
and the Nasdaq was up 0.9 percent, the fourth consecutive week of
gains for all three. For the month of August, the Dow added 3.2
percent, the S&P gained 3.8 percent and the Nasdaq finished 4.8
percent higher. The S&P's gain marked its best monthly performance
The week's trading volume has been among the lightest of the year,
with action muted going into the Labor Day holiday in the United
States. Markets will be closed on Monday.
The U.S. shares of AstraZeneca <AZN.L> <AZN.N> rose 1.8 percent to
close at $76.01 on news the company had moved its immuno-oncology
medicine MEDI-4736 into a mid-stage study in colorectal cancer.
Splunk Inc <SPLK.O> jumped 19.1 percent to $53.93 a day after
posting strong revenue growth and raising its full-year sales
Volume was thin, with about 3.8 billion shares traded on U.S.
exchanges, well below the 5.29 billion average so far this month,
according to data from BATS Global Markets.
Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,117 to
890, while on the Nasdaq, advances beat declines 1,882 to 790.
(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Meredith Mazzilli and Andre Grenon)
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