NEW YORK (AP) - Passing another milestone on the nation's long journey back from the Great Recession, the Standard and Poor's 500 index closed above 1,500 for the first time in more than five years Friday after a wave of good earnings reports.
It took scores of incremental gains, several stalled rallies and a few sickening falls, but the widely watched S&P, one of the broadest measures of the American stock market, finished at 1,502.96, up 8.14 points. The index had not closed above 1,500 since December 2007, the start of the worst economic downturn since the 1930s.
The news came on top of other hopeful signs that the economy is slowly recovering. Housing is rebounding. Companies are hiring again, albeit slowly, and their earnings, a big driver of stock prices, are at record levels.
"The bottom line is that corporate America is doing exceptionally well," said Joe Tanious, a global market strategist at JPMorgan.