World markets: Wall Street rises for sixth week
Stocks on Wall Street posted their sixth-straight week of gains after Americans' feelings about the economy topped economists' expectations.
The rally is the longest since January 2011.
Technology shares led the advance with Apple [NAS:AAPL] gaining 1.8% after posting its highest closing price ever on Friday, giving it a market cap of $US607 billion ($NZ759 billion).
Facebook shares [NAS:FB] hit a new all-time low of $US19, a 50% drop from its initial public offering price. The shares were down 12.6% for the week as a lockup period for early investors and company insiders expired. The company is now valued around $US50 billion.
The Thomson-Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for early August rose from its end-of-July level instead of declining as expected.
The Conference Board's index of leading indicators for July rose more than expected.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 25.09 points, or 0.2%, to 13,275.20 at the close (8am NZ time), a whisker short its more-than-four-year closing high of 13,279, set on May 1.
The S&P 500 index rose 0.2%, to 1418.16, just short off its 2012 closing high.
For both the Dow and the S&P 500, the six-straight weekly increase marks the longest rally since January 2011.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.2%, to 3076.59.
Other markets: Europe, Asia up
European stocks extended gains. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.6% to close at 272.83, its highest finish since July 8, 2011.
The index added 1.1% over the week, its 11th consecutive weekly rise.
The best performer was the Spanish IBEX 35 index, which rose a further 1.9% to 7561.00 after rallying more than 4% on Thursday.
The FTSE 100 index rose 0.3% to 5852.42, the German DAX 30 index rose 0.6% to 7040.88 and the CAC 40 index rose 0.2% to 3488.38.
Asian markets were higher with the Japan and Australian indexes both reaching three-month highs.
Stocks are now trading at levels last seen in May, when a selloff eradicated many of the year's earlier gains.
Australia's S&PASX 200 has gained 7% over five weeks of successive gains and Japan's Nikkei has shot up 7.1% in just two weeks.
The Nikkei was up 0.8% at 9162.50, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 0.8% to 20116.07 and Korea's Kospi was down 0.6% to 1946.54.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.9% to 4370.10.
Commodities: Oil up, gold down
Oil futures finished higher Friday as some upbeat US economic data boosted expectations for energy demand.
September crude settled at $US96.01 a barrel in New York, up 41USc or 0.4%. It was up 3.4% on the week.
Gold futures closed marginally higher but fell for the week. Gold for December delivery added 20USc to settle at $US1619.40 an ounce in New York. Prices were 0.2% lower for the week.
Currencies: US dollar rises against euro
The US dollar gained against the euro and other major currencies after a report showed US consumer sentiment improved.
The euro notched its highest level against the Japanese yen since early June on growing expectations European leaders will resolve the eurozone crisis.
The euro was at $US1.2330 compared with $US1.2357 late on Thursday.
The dollar was at ¥79.56 compared with ¥79.36. The euro was at ¥98.091 compared with ¥98.06.
The UK pound bought $US1.5692 compared with $US1.5733, while the dollar changed hands at 0.9741 Swiss franc from 0.9720 franc.