TOKYO — Shares were mostly higher in Asia on Friday after the Standard & Poor’s 500 index logged an eighth straight day of gains. Encouraging reports on the U.S. economy helped the index match its longest winning streak since July 2013. Regional trading was subdued with markets in Shanghai and South Korea still closed for holidays.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.3 percent to 20,679.18 and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong advanced 0.5 percent to 28,506.48. Australia’s S&P ASX/200 surged 0.8 percent to 5,694.70. Shares in Southeast Asia and Taiwan also were higher.
WALL STREET: The S&P 500 rose 0.6 percent to 2,552.07 and the Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.5 percent to 22,775.39. The Nasdaq composite added 0.8 percent to 6,585.36. All three indexes set fresh record highs. The continued gains have some professional investors a bit nervous, because even the healthiest markets tend to have some sharp sell-offs from time to time.
ANALYST VIEWPOINT: “What’s really troubling most people more than anything is that we just go straight up,” said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade. “There hasn’t been a pullback. That’s what most on Wall Street are trying to come to grips with.”
UPBEAT DATA: In the latest good news for the economy Thursday brought a report of a stronger-than-expected rebound in U.S. factory orders during August and a drop in the number of workers applying for unemployment benefits last week.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.86 Japanese yen from 112.83 yen late Thursday. The euro was flat at $1.1711 and the British pound slipped to $1.3102 from $1.3119.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 7 cents to $50.72 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It added 81 cents to $50.79 on Thursday. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, slipped 12 cents to $56.88 per barrel.