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The stock market nearly erased the damage from its recent mini correction Friday as stocks extended a three-session surge that started when the Federal Reserve cheered Wall Street with its assurance that it is in no hurry to raise interest rates.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index briefly crossed over its Dec. 5 record closing high of 2075.37 before falling back in the final half hour of trading to end at about 2071, up 0.5% for the day. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.2% to about 17,806. The Nasdaq composite gained 0.4% to about 4765.
The day capped a stunning comeback from earlier in the week, when the S&P was down 4.9% from its high and fanning talk of the market possibly being headed to its first correction, or 10% drop, in more than three years.
A rebound in crude helped fuel the rally as the price of oil rose 4.5% to about $ 56 a barrel.
Thursday’s big rally on Wall Street – its best in three years – had the global financial markets in a better mood Friday, says Barclays.
“Risk sentiment is ending the week on a strong footing after a poor start,” the U.K.-based investment firm told clients in an early-morning research note.
If there’s one thing the past few trading days have proven is that the strategy of buying stocks after a brief and somewhat sizable pullback is still a profitable one, says David Rosenberg, chief strategist at Gluskin Sheff.
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“Risk appetite is back and buy-the-dips obviously still works,” says Rosenberg.
The world’s canned seafood giant grew even bigger Friday as Thai Union Frozen Products announced it is swallowing Bumble Bee Foods in a $ 1.51 billion deal.
Facebook stock got a lift as Citigroup raised the price target forFBto $ 91. Nike (NKE) slipped after the company said future orders are below forecasts, due to weakness in Europe and emerging markets.
Asian stocks — which were still buoyed by the Fed’s Wednesday announcement — rallied.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index advanced 2.4% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 1.4%.
Wall Street is digesting the latest signs that the Bank of Japan will continue to take steps to stimulate its economy, which has contracted the past two quarters.
The BoJ maintained its dovish, easing stance with last night’s policy statement, according to Bespoke Investment Group.
“While not repeating the shock-and-awe easing surprise of the last meeting, the BoJ was unquestionably dovish with a commitment to continue their 80 trillion in Japanese yen qualitative and quantitative easing (QQE) program,” Bespoke told clients.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday she foresaw no rate hike in the first quarter of 2015 and the Fed will be “patient” in deciding when to do so.
The Dow had its best day in more than three years on Thursday, soaring over 400 points.
On Thursday, the Dow jumped 421.28 points, or 2.4%, to close at 17,778.15, its best one-day point gain since Nov. 30, 2011. The two-day rally saw the Dow gain 709 points, its best two-day point gain since Nov. 2008.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 48.34 points, or 2.4%, to 2061.23 and has added 88 points, or 4.5%, in two days. That is the broad-based index’s best two-day percent performance in more than three years.
Europe stocks are mostly up as regional data draws investors’ attention there. The FTSE in Britain is up 1.2%, while the DAX of Germany and CAC 40 of France are flat.
U.K. consumer confidence dropped in December. French business confidence for December paused after a bounce last month. German consumer confidence and Italian industrial orders beat expectations.
Global investors are pleased to see Russia’s government take steps to stabilize the ruble, although the Russian currency remains under pressure, adds Barclays.
“A calmer environment has contained contagion to other emerging markets assets,” the firm said.
The big rally Thursday was also impressive in terms of its breadth, or the number of stocks that posted gains, which bodes well for stock price action for the remainder of 2014, says Chris Verrone, a strategist at Strategas Research Partners. Advancing stocks outnumbered declining stocks by about 10 to 1 on Thursday, he says.
The strong momentum coupled with historical positive price action from Dec. 15 to year-end sets the market up nicely for a Santa Claus rally, he adds.
“Coupled with the seasonal influence, this week’s strength likely carries stocks through year-end and into January,” Verrone told clients in a report.
Contributing: Kevin McCoy.
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