Stocks rose Friday in a day of quiet trading, finishing the biggest monthly gain since February, amid improving economic data and speculation central banks will continue to spur growth.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose six points, or 0.3 percent, to finish at 2,003.37, an all-time high, Friday. The index jumped 3.8 percent this month, the best August performance since 2000.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 18 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,098. The Nasdaq composite rose 22 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,580.
Bond prices barely budged. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held at 2.34 percent.
Economic reports showed consumer confidence unexpectedly rose in August, while consumer spending dropped in July for the first time in six months. Euro-area inflation slowed this month to the weakest rate since 2009, increasing pressure on the European Central Bank to add stimulus. American equity markets will be closed on Sept. 1 for the Labor Day holiday.
With the U.S. headed into the Labor Day holiday weekend, the stock market has been experiencing the slowest trading in at least six years. Volume has been below 5 billion shares in each of the past eight days, the longest stretch in data compiled by Bloomberg News going back to 2008.
Discount retailer Big Lots fell 85 cents to $46.35, even as it reported a second-quarter profit that beat Wall Street expectations.
Tesla Motors rose $5.84 to $269.70 after the electric car maker and a state-owned Chinese phone carrier announced plans to build 400 car-charging stations in China.
Avago Technologies Ltd., a semiconductor-device supplier, climbed 7.5 percent to $82.09 for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after it reported earnings that topped estimates.
Pacific Sunwear of California, a clothing retailer, slid 9.6 percent to $2.08 after projecting losses deeper than analysts’ estimated.
Veeva Systems, the provider of cloud-based business services, jumped 20 percent to $29.97. It boosted its year-end earnings prediction and reported second-quarter earnings that beat estimates.
Nabors Industries Ltd., the oil, gas and geothermal land drilling operator, gained 3.6 percent to $27.21, the most in two months. A Bloomberg Industries report yesterday showed it stand to benefit from exposure to Argentina shale development.