Stocks Extend Win Streak to Five

U.S. stocks closed higher for the fifth straight session Friday, pushing up weekly gains to more than 4%, as investors dialed down their concerns about an impending Greek debt default. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 75.91 points, or 0.66%, to 11,509.09 and gained 4.7% for the week. The S&P 500 rose 6.90 points, or 0.57%, to 1,216.01 and rose 5.4% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite gained 15.24 points, or 0.58%, to 2,622.31 and rallied 6.3% for the week.

Americans’ wealth declined this spring for the first time in a year, as stocks and home values fell. Household net worth dropped 0.3 percent to $58.5 trillion in the April-June quarter, according to a Federal Reserve report released Friday. That followed three straight quarterly increases.

The European Union’s 27 countries overcame a year of infighting to agree Friday to tougher budget rules that make it easier to punish overspending governments, but failed to produce any new measures that might contain the debt market turmoil threatening it.

Unemployment rates rose in a majority of states in August for a third straight month, further evidence that the depressed job market is widespread. The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates increased in 26 states. They fell in 12 and remained unchanged in 12.

Oil prices dropped Friday as the U.S. and Europe clashed over how to handle the debt crisis in Greece. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude gave up $1.44, about 1.6 percent, to end the day at $87.96 per barrel in New York.

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