The major averages closed modestly higher with the S&P 500 climbing to close its fourth straight positive month amid growing optimism over the U.S. economic recovery. The broad equity benchmark ended the session up 0.1% to 4,204, sitting just 0.8% from its record high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 64 points to 34,529. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite inched up 0.1% to 13,748.
The blue-chip Dow and the S&P 500 advanced 0.9% and 1.2% this week, respectively, both breaking a two- week losing streak. The Nasdaq rose 2.1% to post its best weekly performance since April 9.
For the month of May, the 30-stock Dow and the S&P 500 gained 1.9% and 0.6%, respectively, posting their fourth up month in a row. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, however, suffered a 1.5% loss this month for its first negative month in seven.
Small-cap Russell 2000, which is more leveraged to the economic reopening, eked out a slight gain this month, posting their eighth straight positive month for the first time since 1995.
A key inflation indicator — the core personal consumption expenditures index — rose 3.1% in April, faster than expectations of a 2.9% increase but not as hot as many on Wall Street had feared. Meanwhile, the savings rate remained elevated at 14.9% last month, while consumer spending rose 0.5%, in line with estimates.
Salesforce shares popped more than 5% Friday to lead the gains in the Dow. The rally came after the software company's first-quarter earnings beat Wall Street expectations on its top and bottom lines.
Meme stocks fueled by traders in Reddit's Wall Street Bets forum had another roller-roaster session Friday with AMC shooting up as much as 38% and closing the day down 1.5%. GameStop erased earlier gains and dropped 12.6%.
This week, investors also monitored the back-and-forth in Washington over a comprehensive infrastructure package that could further boost the economic recovery. Senate Republicans unveiled a $928 billion infrastructure counteroffer to President Joe Biden on Thursday. However, that's well below Biden's most recent proposal of $1.7 trillion.
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