Stocks sailed to record highs today as continued optimism about corporate profits and strong consumer spending offset the effects of a rocky bond market.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 66.81, to 11,193.70, topping its previous record close of 11,187.36, set Wednesday. The Dow was up 54.46, or 0.49 percent, for the week.
The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index and the Nasdaq composite index also set records. For the Nasdaq, rich with technology stocks, today was the sixth record-setting day in seven sessions as it rose 21.21 to close at 2793.07. The S&P 500 rose 8.86, to 1403.28.
Stocks have been flourishing as the first few companies to report second-quarter earnings meet Wall Street's high expectations. With the robust economy continuing its expansion, analysts are predicting the strongest profit growth since the third quarter of 1997.
Dell Computer led technology issues, rising 2 7/8, to 42-13/16, after Goldman Sachs raised its rating on the company. Analysts said the positive evaluation from Goldman sparked interest in the whole technology sector, helping the Nasdaq extend its winning streak.
The Dow's gain would have been much more modest without McDonald's, which rose 3-15/16, to 44-9/16. Wall Street investment firm Schroder & Co. upgraded the company's stock, citing strong expectations for the fast-food chain's second-quarter sales.
DuPont rose 3-3/16, to 71-11/16, after the company unveiled some details of the spinoff of its Conoco unit.
Despite the solid gains, stocks were somewhat unsettled by continuing fluctuations in the bond market.
Early in today's session, stocks fell along with bond prices as the credit markets absorbed an $8.6 billion offering by Ford Motor and its Ford Motor Credit unit. The offering is the largest corporate bond deal ever, topping AT&T's $8 billion sale earlier this year.
Prices evened out as the market digested the offering. The yield on the Treasury's 30-year bond, which had risen as high as 6.03 percent at noon, edged back to 6 percent, which was up slightly from the 5.99 percent level it was at late Thursday. The long bond's price fell $1.56 per each $1,000 invested.
Stocks recovered, although it was a quiet summer Friday with little news to stimulate trading. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by 18 to 11 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 701 million shares, down from 830.6 million on Thursday.
The NYSE composite index rose 3.63, to 657.68; the American Stock Exchange composite index rose 4.04, to 812.73; and the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 3.23, to 457.98.