Stocks con­tinue their ad­vance

The Washington Post Sunday - - MARKETS -

U.S. stocks ad­vanced for the sixth con­sec­u­tive week as eco­nomic data sailed past fore­casts and shares of fi­nan­cial com­pa­nies rose with higher bond yields.

So strong were sig­nals on growth in the United States and be­yond that in­vestors were left al­most com­pletely un­fazed by the surg­ing odds of a Fed­eral Re­serve in­ter­est rate in­crease. Fed Chair Janet L. Yellen on Fri­day capped the week of ris­ing ex­pec­ta­tions by ex­plic­itly sup­port­ing a hike if eco­nomic progress per­sists.

The bench­mark gauge for Amer­i­can eq­uity added 0.7 per­cent over the five days to end the week at 2,383.12. Helped by Pres­i­dent Trump’s speech to Congress, the in­dex briefly crossed 2,400 for the first time on Wed­nes­day, be­fore clos­ing that ses­sion, the best of the year, at a record 2,395.96. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age climbed 0.9 per­cent to end the week 21,005.71 as small-cap shares fin­ished lower for a sec­ond week.

Fi­nan­cial stocks were the big­gest win­ners on the week, ad­vanc­ing 2 per­cent af­ter post­ing the big­gest sin­gle-day jump since Nov. 10 on Wed­nes­day.

The U.S. Trea­sury will sell $30 bil­lion in three-month bills and $24 bil­lion in six­month bills on March 6. They yielded 0.72 per­cent and 0.82 per­cent, re­spec­tively, in when- is­sued trad­ing. It will also sell four­week bills and $24 bil­lion in three-year notes on March 7.

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