NEW YORK - Wall Street rebounded from an early loss yesterday to send the Dow Jones industrials to their second straight record close as investors embraced robust economic data and shrugged off several profit warnings. Bond prices fell on concerns about interest rates.
Stocks held on to their gains despite a warning from chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc., considered one of the bellwether stocks of the tech sector. The market also got a boost from a recent decline in oil prices and a Commerce Department report that retail sales rose in December at their strongest pace in five months - an indication that holiday sales might have turned out better than expected despite downbeat reports earlier this month from many retailers.
The retail sales report was another sign that the economy remains healthy, and could persuade central bankers to keep interest rates where they are. Stock and bond investors have been hoping the Fed might lower rates soon.
"You've had a pretty good week, and people always tend to even up positions on a Friday - especially before a holiday," said Alexander Paris, an economist and market analyst for Chicago-based Barrington Research. The markets will be closed Monday for Martin Luther King's Birthday.
The Dow rose 41.10, or 0.33 percent, to 12,556.08. Yesterday marked the index's 24th record close since the start of October. Despite the gains, the Dow didn't surpass its trading high of 12,580.35 set Jan. 3.
Broader stock indicators advanced. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 6.91, or 0.49 percent, to 1,430.73, and the Nasdaq composite rose 17.97, or 0.72 percent, to 2,502.82.
For the week, stocks advanced modestly and, as a result, managed to push the indexes into positive territory for the new year. The Dow was up 1.27 percent, while the S&P 500 advanced 1.49 percent and the Nasdaq picked up 2.82 percent.
The bond market, which has been pricing in the potential of a rate cut sometime in the first half of the year, was rattled by the economic reports yesterday. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 4.78 percent, its highest level since October, from 4.74 percent Thursday.
The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices rose.