Up And Up

Strong earnings, higher retail sales and dropping oil prices pushed the markets to new highs last week. After hitting a four-and-a-half year high on Thursday, the larger markets took a slight drop Friday as the Labor Department reported that the producer price index—which is a precursor to inflation—rose higher than expected, at 0.3 percent. Nevertheless, the Dow ended the week 1.8 percent higher at 11,115.32, gaining 200.11 points. The Nasdaq gained 30.32 points to close at 2,282.36, up 1.3 percent. Ad stocks, however, finished mixed. Despite reporting that its profit grew 7 percent during the fourth quarter last year, Omnicom dropped 2.7 points to close at 80.43, a 3.2 percent decline. Interpublic Group finished nearly where it began at 10.02, gaining only 0.01 point for the week (up 0.1 percent). WPP Group gained 0.70 points to close at 55.17, up 1.3 percent.