No matter which direction investors faced Friday, whether it was the recent past or the immediate future, all the signals were positive. Investors responded by boosting prices for stocks, bonds and commodities.
Recent government and industry reports indicate the housing market is at or near a bottom, equity valuations are inexpensive and corporate earnings have been good. In addition, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for the end of February was better than expected.
More good news could come next week. The European Central Bank begins another round of lending at ultra-low interest rates, and in the U.S. there will be a durable goods report and a consumer confidence report on Tuesday, both expected to be positive.
Stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly reached 13,000, and the S&P 500 at one point touched 1,368.86, its highest level since 2008. All 10 S&P sectors posted gains.
Bonds. Treasuries booked their strongest performance in four weeks. Federal Reserve buying gave a small lift to the 30-year bond.
Currencies. The euro climbed to three-month highs against both the yen and the dollar. The greenback rose to its highest level against the yen since July. The British pound and Australian dollar both gained.
Commodities. Crude oil, in its longest rally in two years, rose to nearly $110 for WTI and nearly $124 for Brent blend. Global copper inventories stood at a two-and-a-half year low, contributing to the red metal's 12 percent gain this year. Cotton fell to a two-month low. Gold and silver slipped but ended the week up 2.9 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively.