New Zealand Markets close in 6 hrs 58 mins

Wall Street hits new highs

The Dow eked out a gain Friday to stretch its winning streak to a fifth day. Encouraging economic data from the U.S. and China lifted investor sentiment. Homebuilding in the U.S. surged to a 13-year high in December, and China's industrial output, investment and retail sales rose more than expected last month.


The data helped drive the three indexes to new highs. The S&P 500 up nearly four-tenths percent. For the week, the indexes rose roughly 2%.


Mercadien Asset Management president, Ken Kamen:


SOUNDBITE: MERCADIEN ASSET MANAGEMENT PRESIDENT, KEN KAMEN (ENGLISH) SAYING:

"The consumer's very strong. So I think there's a lot of reason for optimism, and the markets' kind of fueling that."


Shares of China sensitive chipmaker Qualcomm shot higher. Citigroup upgraded the chipmaker to "buy" from "neutral," citing among other factors, the likelihood that Qualcomm will gain market share in China with its 5G chipsets.


Financial stocks including JPMorgan and Citizens Financial were among the rally leaders. A 61% surge in quarterly profit at the custodian bank, State Street, spurred the buying.


Energy stocks were the day's biggest decliners. Shares of oilfield service provider Schlumberger slid even though its adjusted earnings beat Wall Street's targets

The markets will be closed Monday for the Martin Luther King holiday.