U.S. Stocks End Higher; S&P 500, Dow on 6-Week Winning Streak

NEW YORK (AP) -

Wall Street capped a week with no shortage of milestones with a few more Friday.

U.S. stocks closed modestly higher, lifting the Standard & Poor’s 500 index to its fifth record close in a row. The Dow Jones industrial average, which crossed past the 23,000 mark for the first time on Wednesday, also finished the day with its fifth-straight all-time high.

Banks led the gainers Friday. Technology companies also posted big gains, helping to drive the Nasdaq composite to a record high.

The S&P 500 index rose 13.11 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,575.21. The Dow gained 165.59 points, or 0.7 percent, to 23,328.63. The Nasdaq composite added 23.99 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,629.05. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 7.20 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,509.25.

The S&P 500 and the Dow are now on a six-week winning streak.

Higher bond yields allow banks to charge higher interest rates on mortgages and other loans. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.38 percent from 2.32 percent late Thursday.

Synchrony Financial gained $1.33, or 4.2 percent, to $33.04. Citizens Financial Group picked up 90 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $38.33. Both also reported higher quarterly earnings than analysts had been expecting.

Technology sector companies also had a good day.

PayPal Holdings climbed 5.5 percent after the payment technology company reported big gains in new users and transactions. The stock rose $3.72 to $70.97.

Still early in the third-quarter earnings season, strong earnings helped push the market higher this week.

Just under 12 percent of S&P 500 companies have released quarterly results through Friday. Of those, 78 percent reported earnings and revenue that beat financial analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Shares in several companies made big moves Friday after traders reviewed their latest quarterly results.

Skechers USA soared 41.4 percent after the shoe company said that its profit and sales were stronger than analysts expected. The stock rose $9.96 to $33.99.

Oil prices closed higher after wavering between small gains and losses for much of the day.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 18 cents to settle at $51.47 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 52 cents to $57.75 a barrel in London.

The gains helped lift most of the energy companies in the S&P 500. Helmerich & Payne climbed $1.06, or 2.1 percent, to $52.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline rose 3 cents to $1.68 a gallon. Heating oil picked up 3 cents to $1.81 a gallon. Natural gas gained 4 cents to $2.92 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold fell $9.50 to $1,280.50 an ounce. Silver lost 18 cents to $17.09 an ounce. Copper was little changed at $3.17 a pound.

The dollar strengthened to 113.50 yen from 112.65 yen on Thursday. The euro fell to $1.1780 from $1.1830.

Major stock indexes overseas were mixed Friday.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX and the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares finished flat. The CAC 40 in France added 0.1 percent. In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 finished less than 0.1 percent higher ahead of parliamentary elections on Sunday.