Dow Index & S&P 500 close at record highs on Greece debt deal

February 21, 2015

New York (Feb 21)  The Dow and S&P500 ended at record highs on Friday while the Nasdaq notched an eighth straight day of gains after Greek and euro zone finance ministers reached a deal to extend heavily indebted Greece's financial rescue by four months.

The agreement removes the immediate risk of Greece running out of money next month and possibly being forced out of the single currency area.

The Nasdaq matched an eight-session winning streak from a year ago and inched closer to its 5,132.52 all-time intraday high, reached in March 2000 just before the dot-com bubble burst. The S&P 500 ended slightly higher for the week as well, its third straight week of gains.

The Greek accord will allow investors to concentrate on the fundamentals that should be driving the market, said Ben Pace, chief investment officer at HPM Partners in New York.

"You're seeing a little bit better U.S. economic statistics than you've been seeing over the past three or four weeks. The European statistics have gotten a lot better too," Pace said. "So maybe a relief rally today, because the markets were down as there was a lot of consternation going around."

Shares of the Global X FTSE Greece 20 exchange-traded fund jumped 10.1 percent, while U.S.-listed shares of the National Bank of Greece surged 21.7 percent to $1.96.

All of the S&P 500 sectors ended in positive territory, except energy, which dipped 0.3 percent. Apple, which hit another record closing high, gave the S&P 500 and Nasdaq their biggest boost.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 154.67 points, or 0.86 percent, to 18,140.44, the S&P 500 gained 12.85 points, or 0.61 percent, to 2,110.3 and the Nasdaq Composite added 31.27 points, or 0.63 percent, to 4,955.97.

For the week, the Dow was up 0.7 percent, the S&P 500 was up 0.6 percent and the Nasdaq was up 1.3 percent.

Intuit Inc was among the Nasdaq's biggest positives, rising 6.2 percent to $96.72 a day after reporting a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss.

Shares of Nordstrom climbed 6 percent to $81.74 and the stock was among the S&P 500's biggest percentage gainers, following its results. A slew of retailers are due to report next week, including Macy's and Home Depot.

About 6.3 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the 7 billion average for the month to date, according to BATS Global Markets.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE 2,085 to 990, for a 2.11-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,449 issues rose and 1,266 fell, a 1.14-to-1 ratio.

The S&P 500 posted 82 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 107 new highs and 23 new lows.

Source: Reuters

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