Last week's gains weren't so big, but they were enough to lift the Nasdaq Stock Market composite index and the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index to four-year highs and push the Dow Jones industrial average to within spitting distance of breaking even for the year.
The S&P climbed 14 points to 1,248.27. The Nasdaq composite gained 25 to 2,227.07. The Dow advanced 80 points to 10,766.33. The S&P is up 3 percent for the year, and the Nasdaq composite is ahead by 2.3 percent. Neither has closed this high since the summer of 2001.
The Dow is still down for the year but only by 17 points, a fraction of a percent. The Dow is lagging largely because of General Motors, whose stock is off almost 40 percent, after bouncing back from an 18-year low last week. Stocks have advanced for four weeks in a row, raising investors' hope that the rally can run through the end of the year. Economic growth is good, inflation is negligible, oil prices are falling and investors seem eager.
What could go wrong? Not much, this week. It's Thanksgiving and trading is expected to be light.
-- Jerry Knight