Stocks staged a huge rally and the dollar got crushed to finish a wild week of trading that saw stocks rise after three straight losing weeks.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 18,139, +180, (+1%)
- S&P 500: 2,109.2, +19.9, (+1%)
- Nasdaq: 5,028.8, +36.5, (+0.7%)
And now, the top stories on Friday:
1. The number of oil rigs in use in the US continues to collapse. The latest data from Baker Hughes showed that the number of oil rigs in use fell by 41 last week to 825, the lowest level since March 2011. The combined number of oil and gas rigs fell by 56 to 1,069, the lowest since October 2009. Since hitting a peak of 1,609 in October 2014, the number of oil rigs in use is down by about 49%.
2. The euro had a huge day and the dollar got crushed, continuing the same post-Fed trade that broke out on Wednesday afternoon. On Friday, the euro rallied to as high at $US1.085 against the dollar, while the dollar index fell more than 1.5% at its lowest point Friday afternoon. In a note to clients on Thursday, analysts at HSBC argued that the best of the huge dollar rally could be over.
3. Restaurant operator Darden, which owns Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, reported earnings that beat expectations on Friday, sending shares up better than 3%. On the company’s conference call, the company also gave an insight that shows some hidden strength among US consumers. The company noted that customers are spending more on alcohol and dessert, add-ons to the meal that has boosted the average ticket and shows that while the big impact hasn’t been seen in macro reports like retail sales, consumers are spending more amid the sharp decline in gas prices seen over the last several months.
4. London’s FTSE 100 hit a new all-time high on Friday, closing above 7,000 for the first time.
5. Biotech stocks have been on fire, and on Friday Biogen, one of the biggest gainers over the last couple years, rose almost 10% after reporting preliminary trial results from an Alzheimer’s study. Business Insider’s Akin Oyedele noted that analysts on Wall Street were raising their price targets left and right after the news.
6. Here’s an interesting nugget from Goldman Sachs: 33% of millennials think that in five years they won’t need a bank.
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