Facebook Inc. (FB, +1.27%) has something to smile about as on Friday, the company’s stock rallied to an all-time high. This increase pushed the social network giant into the top ten companies on the S&P 500 index (SPX) in terms of market valuation. In the last week, the shares of Facebook increased by 7.4 percent which marked the company’s biggest weekly gain in the last 8 months. As a result of this weekly surge, Facebook’s market capitalization was boosted to $231.6 billion, up $16.1 billion. Facebook is now beating the likes of General Electric & Co. (GE, +0.28% GE, +0.28%) which is sitting at $255 billion as well as J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM, +0.90%). This blue-chip bank has a market capitalization at $228.2 billion. In case you were wondering, Apple Inc. (AAPL) sits in first place in the SPX with a market cap of $742.6 billion while Google (GOOGL) is in second place with a market cap of $381.7 billion. The S&P 500 is a benchmark index which comprises five hundred of the biggest companies in the U.S. In terms of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), the new Facebook market cap now stands above twenty four of the 30 components of the blue chip index including Pfizer Inc. (PFE) with a market cap of $209.7 and Coca-Cola Co. (KO) with a market cap of $174.8 billion. Now that’s something to ‘Like’ about Facebook.
In trading in the U.S. on Friday, U.S. stocks traded higher after rebounding from their decline on Thursday. As a result, the main benchmark indices recorded big gains for the week. At the close of trading, the S&P 500 index (SPX) advanced 0.9 percent, or 18.83 points, to 2,108.10. For the week, the SPX advanced 2.7 percent and this gain was boosted by the monetary policy statement released by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday which confirmed that the central bank will raise interest rates slower that it had planned to previously. Friday marked the end of the three week losing streak for the S&P 500 and the index now stands only 0.4 percent below the record reached on the 2nd of March. Also on the upside was the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) which rose 0.9%, or 168.62 points, to close at 18,127.65. This blue chip index was up 2.1 percent for the week. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) also advanced 3.2 percent for the week and closed 0.7% higher on Friday at 5,026.42. Friday’s close marked the tech-heavy index’s highest close in the last 15 years at only 0.4 percent below its record close made on the 10th of March 2000.
In forex trading on Friday, the U.S. dollar (USD) traded lower. This came as a result of positive sentiment regarding Greece’s debt while the recent policy statement by the Federal Reserve also weighed on the greenback. As a result of the European Commission making unused funds of $2 billion available to Greece, the euro strengthened and the EUR/USD traded at 1.0771, up 1.06%. Also on the upside were the British pound and the Japanese yen with GBP/USD up 0.83% and trading at 1.4876 while USD/JPY declined 0.09% to trade at 120.70. In its most recent policy meeting, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) made it clear that the bank is not in a hurry to accelerate inflation by expanding stimulus measures further. Also, the U.S. dollar index was at 98.54, down 0.91%.
Saudi Arabia made it quite clear over the weekend that they have no intention to cut their output in order to help the declining oil prices. As a result, in Asian trading on Monday, oil prices declined by almost a percentage point. With oil prices declining since June last year, analysts have assumed that OPEC’s biggest producer, Saudi Arabia, would curb its output yet the country has now made it clear that in order to maintain its market share against countries such as the U.S. and Russia, which are non-OPEC producers, Saudi Arabia will maintain its current output. As a result, WTI crude oil traded at $45.99 a barrel, down 58 cents while benchmark Brent crude oil futures traded at $54.79 a barrel, down 53 cents.