Business, Economics and Jobs

Stocks surge higher on positive news about US economy


Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City on Feb. 15, 2011, the day it was announced that NYSE Euronext, the parent company of the NYSE, would merge with the Germany's Deutsche Boerse to form the world's largest exchange for stocks and derivatives.


Spencer Platt

Wall Street stocks surged to close at a new all-time high Friday on encouraging news about the United States' economy.

Good news about the nation's steady economic recovery and better than expected consumer confidence numbers bolstered the rally.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 121 points to end the week at 15,354. The S&P 500 gained 17 points to close at 1,667; while the Nasdaq composite climbed 34 points.

In all, the markets posted gains for a fourth straight week, a sign of optimism about the overall economy in the face of high corporate earnings.

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The "street" is also happy with the Federal Reserve's continued commitment to low interest rates.

"This slow but relatively steady growth, that keeps inflation in check and keeps interest rates low, is actually a pretty healthy environment for the stock market," Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab & Co. told CBS MarketWatch. "Right now we are very optimistic."

Among the biggest winners: JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, General Motors, and oil refiner Tesoro Corp.