Stocks close higher, S&P 500 post biggest weekly gain since 2013

Stocks close higher, S&P 500 post biggest weekly gain since 2013

“Risk continues to be on despite some spotty data and continued bearish sentiment,” Michael Block, chief strategist at Rhino Trading Partners, said in a note to clients. “The very happening of the recent volatile episode makes more volatility more likely, but that doesn’t make it a given.”

During the previous 10 sessions, the S&P 500 has posted eight moves greater than 1 percent. For context, the broad index posted only eight 1 percent moves all of last year. More volatility could be seen Friday as February options expire. These events have historically increased market volatility.

Strategists and traders have pointed to several factors as a catalyst for the market’s recent sell-off. One of the most cited ones is a sharp rise in government bond rates. Others pointed to the implosion of several volatility-related products as well as algorithmic trading.

But Wall Street seemed to shake off these concerns quickly. In fact, the 10-year U.S. note yield rose to a four-year high this week before as stocks continued their march higher.

In economic news, housing starts rose 9.7 percent in January, easily surpassing analyst expectations. Import prices, meanwhile, gained 1 percent, while export prices advanced 0.8 percent. Consumer sentiment rose more than expected, according to a preliminary reading from the University of Michigan.

In corporate news, Coca-Cola shares rose 0.5 percent after the company reported better-than-expected earnings. Coca-Cola said its best-performing drinks were water and sports drinks.

Wendy’s shares jumped 4.4 percent after analysts at Guggenheim upgraded them to buy from neutral, noting their valuation is more attractive after their recent pullback.

U.S. Steel, meanwhile, surged 14.8 percent after the Commerce Department recommended imposing steep tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum producers.

—CNBC’s Patti Domm contributed to this report.

Read More