The Dow Jones industrial average surged to its fifth-straight record high Friday, with a strong rally in blue-chip stocks boosting the market barometer above 8,900 for the first time.
The Dow rose 103.38 points to 8,906.43, finishing the week with more than a 300-point gain. Most broad-market indexes also reached record highs, except for the Nasdaq, which fell to a selloff in technology stocks.Volume was particularly strong due increased trading related to "triple witching," the expiration of certain options and futures.
"There are lots of excuses out there that could pull this market back," said Alfred E. Goldman, director of market analysis at A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. in St. Louis. "But this market is still strong and there is still money on the sidelines that wants in."
With no new economic news released Friday, investors focused on the market's recent climb. All week, investors have favored buying stocks, brushing off lingering concerns over wage inflation and lower earnings projections.
Since the beginning of the year, the Dow has climbed more that 12 percent.
"We had a bad market in the fourth quarter, with investors worrying that the economy would slow too much or feared something even worse," said Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer at First Albany Corp. "In 1998, investors have gotten over that worry and feel more confident in this economy."
Among the biggest gainers in Friday's market were tobacco stocks, following an Indiana jury's decision that the tobacco industry was not liable in the cancer death of a nurse exposed to secondhand smoke. Philip Morris gained 1 11/16 to 43 1/16, and Loews rose 3 3/16 to 107 9/16.
Energy stocks also rallied on Friday, benefiting from a rise in oil prices after a slump in recent weeks. Chevron rose 3 1/16 to 86 7/8, the biggest gainer for the Dow, while Exxon advanced 2 5/16 to 67 1/8.
The weak link was technology stocks, which were battered as investors took profits on the market's recent rise. The sector was also hurt by another forecast of weak earnings by a technology company.
Dallas Semiconductor said that Asia's recent financial woes depressed its sales and would result in earnings below analysts' estimates.
"Tech stocks got smashed today," said Brian Belski, market analyst at Dougherty Summit Securities in Minneapolis. "This group is heavily weighed in Asia, and that makes it very vulnerable and very volatile."
The technology-laden Nasdaq composite index fell 10.82 to 1,789.16, weighed down by Intel, off 1 9/16 to 753/4, Dell Computer, off 2 5/16 to 62 7/16 and Sun Microsystems, off 2 3/16 to 42 15/16.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 4-to-3 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume totaled 709.759 million shares, up from 585.69 million in the previous session.
The Standard & Poor's 500-stock list rose 9.42 to 1,099.16, the NYSE composite index rose 5.23 to 572.61 and the American Stock Exchange composite index rose 0.99 to 727.79.
Overseas, Tokyo's Nikkei stock average rose 0.9 percent, Frankfurt's DAX index rose 1.3 percent and London's FT-SE 100 was down 0.7 percent.