In the U.S., housing starts soared nearly 17% in December and reached a 13-year high.

Posted on January 17, 2020

That data follows Thursday’s release of better-than-forecast weekly jobless claims and strong business activity numbers from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve.

Friday’s gains added to an already solid weekly performance. Through Thursday’s close, S&P 500 and Dow are up more than 1.5% each while the Nasdaq is up nearly 2%.

Stocks opened at record highs on Friday as strong global economic data and a solid start to the earnings season led to another week of gains.

Chinese industrial data for December came in better than expected, with production rising 6.9% on a year-over-year basis. The overall Chinese economy grew by 6.1% in 2019, matching expectations. To be sure, that is also the slowest growth rate for the Chinese economy since 1990.