U.S. stocks booked a fourth straight daily gain Friday, and the Dow and S&P 500 marked their best week this year as stocks clawed back some of the losses scored in the wake of the tumult that followed the U.K.'s decision last week to sever ties with the European Union.
Better-than-expected manufacturing data combined with fading worries about the Brexit, or British exit from the EU, stoked appetite for equities.
Although marked by choppy trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 19.38 points, or 0.1%, to finish at 17,949.37. Home Depot Inc. shares, up 1.5%, led blue-chip advancers. The Dow came within a whisker of its pre-Brexit close of 18,011 before retreating in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index recaptured the psychologically significant 2,100 level to close up 4.09 points, or 0.2%, at 2,102.95. A 0.9% rise in consumer-discretionary shares, led by a nearly 20% surge by Harley-Davidson Inc.(HOG) on buyout rumors, underpinned positive momentum for the broad-market benchmark.
Both the S&P 500 and the Dow posted their best weekly gains, up 3.2%, since the week ended Nov. 20, according to FactSet data.
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 19.89 points, or 0.4%, to close at 4,862.57. The Nasdaq gained 3.3% on the week for its best climb since the week ended May 27.
Trading volume was lighter-than-usual ahead of the July Fourth holiday on Monday when U.S. markets will be closed. Light volume can lead to choppy trading.
Over the past three trading sessions, the Dow has risen by nearly 800 points, while the S&P leapt about 5% over the last several sessions, as markets rebounded sharply from Brexit concerns. That vote roiled markets last Friday and Monday.
"Markets are coming to the determination that [Brexit] matters but it is not the catastrophic event people had feared," said Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. equity strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
On Friday, markets also were boosted by data that showed U.S. manufacturing activity grew in June at the fastest pace in 15 months. The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index jumped to 53.2% in June from 51.3% in May, marking an uptrend after a bout of extended weakness.
Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth, attributed Friday's climb to the manufacturing reading, investors rebalancing their portfolios to start the second half of 2016, and other traders playing catch-up in equities following a multiday climb for stocks.