Business

Stocks have their best week of 2015

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 33.74, or 0.2 percent, to 17,084.49. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 1.46, or 0.1 percent, to 2,014.89. The Nasdaq composite rose 19.68, or 0.4 percent, to 4,830.47.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 33.74, or 0.2 percent, to 17,084.49. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 1.46, or 0.1 percent, to 2,014.89. The Nasdaq composite rose 19.68, or 0.4 percent, to 4,830.47. The Associated Press

The stock market closed out its best week this year with a modest gain on Friday, helped by airlines and industrial companies.

Investors now turn their focus to corporate earnings, which will start to pick up next week.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 33.74, or 0.2 percent, to 17,084.49. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 1.46, or 0.1 percent, to 2,014.89. The Nasdaq composite rose 19.68, or 0.4 percent, to 4,830.47.

The S&P 500 ended the week up 3.3 percent, its best week since mid-December. Global markets also had a strong week, with markets in Germany and France rising more than 5 percent. In Asia, markets in Japan, China and Hong Kong are up roughly 4 percent each.

Most of the gains this week came immediately following the release of last week’s disappointing jobs report, which sent a signal to investors that the Federal Reserve would hold pat on raising interest rates, at least for several more months.

One sector that did push higher was airlines. The companies said they flew nearly full flights last month, an important profit driver for the industry. United Continental flew flights on average 82.9 percent full, while American Airlines reported its flights were 82.7 percent full.

United Continental rose 6.6 percent, American rose 6.7 percent, and JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines added 3 percent each.

One industrial company that did not do well was Alcoa, the aluminum company, which fell 75 cents, or 7 percent, to $10.26. The company reported a steep drop in profits for its third quarter, citing lower aluminum prices and a strong U.S. dollar.

Investors are now positioning themselves for corporate earnings, which pick up steam next week. Most of the nation’s largest banks will report their results, as well as big companies such as Intel, Netflix, UnitedHealth and General Electric.

Earnings are expected to be down roughly 5.5 percent from a year ago, according to FactSet, mostly because of a sharp drop in commodity prices.

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