S&P 500 Rises for Sixth Day, Hits Another Record; Drug Stocks Up

Gains in consumer staples stocks, health-care companies and tech firms sent U.S. equities higher for a sixth day as the S&P 500 Index, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Russell 2000 Index all closed at records Friday.

The S&P 500 climbed 0.6 percent to 2,259.53 at 4 p.m. in New York, posting its biggest weekly gain since the presidential election in November, while the Dow added 142 points to 19,756.85. Global equities rose as crude oil gained for a second straight day ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna on Saturday where production cuts are expected to be discussed.

  • VIX decreases 7.4 percent; biggest weekly decline since the U.S. presidential election outcome
  • Officials at the Federal Reserve are set to announce a decision on interest rates on Dec. 14. Traders are pricing in a 100 percent chance they’ll raise borrowing costs, compared with 68 percent odds at the start of November.
  • The European Central Bank’s decision Thursday to expand its quantitative-easing program at a reduced monthly pace is giving global equities a boost, as it continues to depress borrowing costs for companies. The ECB expanded its stimulus program to exceed 2 trillion euros by the end of 2017, saying that it can step up or prolong purchases if necessary.

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