U.S. stocks rose in light volume on Friday following the Christmas holiday, with the Dow and S&P 500 at or near records.
“Today we’re heartened that the Russell 2000 continues to move forward. This may be one of the themes for 2015,” said Jim Russell, portfolio manager at Bahl & Gaynor, referring to the index of small-cap companies, which rose to a record, and was lately up 4.5 percent for the year.
“We do see several tailwinds for small caps: a strong dollar, weak overseas economies and the domestic orientation of many,” said Russell of the index that is recouping after falling 11 percent and hitting a one-year low in the middle of October after a five-week drop.
Tesla Motors will announce an upgrade to its Roadster model on Friday, according to a tweet sent out by CEO Elon Musk. Shares of GoPro rose after Wedbush Securities had favorable comments about the wearable-camera maker’s holiday sales.
Around the globe, most major markets were closed, with trading shuttered in cities including London, Paris, Milan, Hong Kong and Toronto.
“Seasonals are in our favor, as of all the trading days of the year, this one day is one that is most consistently up,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.
“Usually the gift that gets delivered is retail sales tend to be better than expectations. We won’t get the numbers until two weeks from now, but our checks from our consumer-facing research team came in very positive,” Hogan said.
Benchmark indexes were in position for a second week of gains.
After rising 73 points to an intraday record, and extending gains into a seventh session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was more recently up 53.18 points, or 0.3 percent, at 18,083.39, with Pfizer pacing blue-chip gains that extended to 23 of 30 components.
The S&P 500 gained 10.18 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,092.06, with utilities leading sector gains that extended to all of its 10 major industry groups.
The Nasdaq gained 40.83 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,814.31.
For every share falling, nearly three rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where 261 million shares traded as of 3:25 p.m. Eastern. Composite volume approached 1.3 billion.
Crude-oil futures for February delivery erased gains and turned lower, ending at $54.73 a barrel, off 4 percent from a week ago. Gold futures for February delivery climbed $21.80 at $1,195.30 an ounce.