Market Snapshot: S&P 500, Nasdaq end at records, as stocks extend quarterly win streaks

U.S. stocks wrapped up the week, the month and the quarter on a high note, with the S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite and Russell 2000 hitting all-time highs on Friday. All the main indexes posted weekly, monthly and quarterly gains.

How did stock indexes perform?

The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.37% gained 9.30 points, or 0.4%, to 2,519.36, closing at a record for the 39th time this year. The benchmark index gained 0.7% over the week and 1.9% over the month. The S&P has risen for eight consecutive quarters, gaining 3.9% since July.

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.66% closed at a record for a 50th time this year, adding 42.51 points, or 0.7%, to 6,495.96. The tech-heavy index rose 1.1% over the week and is up 1% over the month, while its quarterly gain is 5.8%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.11% rose 23.89 points, or 0.1%, to 22,405.09, missing its own record by about 7 points. The blue-chip index barely rose over the week—up 0.3%, but posted solid monthly and quarterly gains. Over the past month, the Dow is up 2.1% while over the quarter it rose 4.9%.

The Russell 2000 RUT, +0.14%  closed at a record for a 21st time in 2017, rising 2.08 points, or 0.1%, to 1,490.86. The small-cap index climbed by 2.8% over the week and 6.1% over the month. Over the quarter, it is up 5.4%.

What did market participants say?

“The fundamental headlines in terms of market weakness don’t seem to be there right now, but valuations look a little stretched and investors may take a pause from the momentum we’ve been seeing,” said Sean Lynch, co-head, global equity strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute. He said the S&P 500 could retreat 5% or 6% through the rest of the year before rebounding in 2018.

“The initial move so far this year has been on pretty good earnings and pretty good fundamentals. However, a lot of stocks have had great runs and look very expensive now.” He singled out small-cap stocks as ones that “seem especially risky.”

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What drove the market?

Traders tried to find their footing after a week marked by hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and the long-awaited announcement on tax reform from President Donald Trump’s administration.

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In the latest economic data, personal income rose 0.2% in August, while consumer spending was up 0.1%. Separately, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index hit 65.2 in September, a jump from the August reading of 58.9.

What else?

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said Friday he still expects the central bank to raise interest rates in December. His comments come a few days after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen warned about being too slow in normalizing interest rates.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has interviewed Federal Reserve Governor Jay Powell and former Fed governor Kevin Warsh for the Fed chairmanship. Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s term ends in February and Trump has yet to announce a successor. Although, on Friday afternoon, Trump told reporters he interviewed four candidates for the Fed job and could make a decision in two or three weeks.

Which stocks was Wall Street following?

Zogenix Inc. ZGNX, +172.23%  more than doubled on extremely heavy trading, as shares soared 172% on news of a positive trial for its drug to treat a rare type of epilepsy.

Amazon.com Inc.-owned Whole Foods AMZN, +0.52%  said late Thursday that hackers tried to steal data from its credit-card-swiping machines. Amazon shares, however, closed up 0.5%.

Shares of Tyson Foods Inc. TSN, +7.64%  jumped 7.6% a day after the food company raised its outlook and announced a restructuring that includes layoffs.

Shares of Micron Technology Inc. MU, +3.61% jumped 3.6% after analyst at Nomura raised their price target to $45.

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What did other assets do?

Asian stock markets closed mostly higher, while European markets SXXP, +0.47% posted modest gains.

Oil prices CLX7, +0.08%  settled slightly higher, marking their first quarterly gain of 2017. Gold prices GCZ7, -0.46%  fell on Friday, posting losses for the week and month in reaction to a stronger dollar, but still notched a gain for the third quarter.

The ICE Dollar Index DXY, -0.08%  was flat on Friday, but broke a six-month losing streak, rising 0.9% for September.

—Sara Sjolin contributed to this article

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