US main stock indices closed out at record levels on Friday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average managed to rise for three straight weeks while benchmark S&P 500 index rose for a fifth consecutive week.
At the same time, the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 9,000 for the first time Thursday, finishing above 9,022. However, it dipped 0.2% on Friday but still finished above 9,000 at 9,006.62.
The new levels mark the best annual performance since 2013 and yet may put in a return not seen since 1997 depending on trading on the final two days of the year next week.
The Nasdaq climbed to 8,000 at the close of 27 August 2018, and gains from some of the tech giants have helped the index to generate a return of about 36% so far in 2019.
Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained about 9.87% since August 2018, while the S&P 500 index increased by 29.2% year-to-date and about 11.85% over the past 16 months.
On the other hand, European stock markets, which were open for the first time since the beginning of the Christmas holiday, also inched higher. Accordingly, London’s blue-chip FTSE 100 ended the day up 0.2%, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 rose 0.3%, and the CAC 40 in Paris edged 0.1% higher.
While Asian stock markets ended in a mixed stance, with Hong Kong the major winner, increasing by 1.3%.
Also, main oil contracts climbed on the back of the news of US-China trade and sustained demand, while a weekly US oil inventory report showed lower stockpiles of crude.