Stocks closing out week with a pop thanks to Apple and oil
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — This week’s U.S. stock index is closed out for the year, heading back down to a low last seen in February, yet investors are cheering the fact that the week’s results were pretty good as stocks make their way back into a positive trend.
After falling below 1,000 on Christmas Eve, the Nasdaq Composite Index is up 0.15% in the week, while the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index is up 0.08%.
Apple’s stock was the big winner on the week, up 6.6%, driven by a strong performance from its iPhone line.
The Apple-related index rose 1.4%, a better showing than the previous week, when the stock was dragged down by a strong showing from Hewlett-Packard (HPQ, Fortune 500).
Hewlett-Packard closed Friday up 4.3%, after CEO Meg Whitman said during a media briefing that the company will continue to improve its margins as it cuts its cost structure.
The other big winner of the week? Oil.
Prices reached an all-time high during the week, up 3.1% — which was the largest gain ever, according to market data compiled by Bloomberg.
The reason the market has bounced back so strong after losing 2.6% last week is that the world is awash in crude oil, which is at a record high as oil futures reached an all-time high at $111 a barrel, according to Energy Aspects Inc. Oil prices rallied after the weak data on Thursday, and while the U.S. manufacturing ISM manufacturing sub-index dipped to a five-month low on Friday, the index is now growing at its fastest rate since March, when it jumped to a five-year high.
All these factors have