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Banks, technology lead early stock gains; world shares rise

Executive floor governor Rudy Mass, left, and specialist

Executive floor governor Rudy Mass, left, and specialist Philip Finale work on the floor of the NYSE, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Wall Street capped a week that had no shortage of milestones with a few more on Friday.

Stocks closed modestly higher, lifting the Standard & Poor’s 500 index to its fifth record close in a row. The Dow Jones industrial average, which crossed past the 23,000 mark for the first time on Wednesday, also finished the day with its fifth-straight all-time high.

Banks led the gainers Friday. Technology companies also posted big gains, helping to drive the Nasdaq composite to a record high.

The latest milestones came as investors drew encouragement from the Senate’s passage of a budget bill that is expected to ease the path for the White House’s tax cut proposal.

“Market expectations for an impactful tax reform have been running fairly low,” said Mike Baele, managing director at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management. “That changed a bit today with the Senate passing the budget resolution for 2018.”

The S&P 500 index rose 13.11 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,575.21. The Dow gained 165.59 points, or 0.7 percent, to 23,328.63. The Nasdaq composite added 23.99 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,629.05. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 7.20 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,509.25.

The S&P 500 and the Dow are now on a six-week winning streak.

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