NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The S&P 500 is making this look easy as it closes at another record high to end the week. Since Monday, the benchmark index is up 1.38% as residual optimism from the Fed meeting midweek kept equities afloat.
As the trading session wraps up, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.15% to 16,947.08, the S&P 500 gained 0.17% to 1,962.87, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.2% to 4,368.04. Markets refrained from expected volatility over the session, the usual response to quadruple witching which refers to the expiration of various stock index futures, stock index options, stock options and single stock futures.
Though major U.S. indices are in the green, further upside was restrained by continued conflict in Iraq. Announced Thursday, President Obama has sent 300 U.S. Special Operations troops to support the Iraqi army in combatting insurgents from the al-Qaeda splinter group, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). President Obama said additional action is possible if needed, but that combat troops will not be sent to Iraq.
Despite the shadow of tension in the Middle East, Astor Investment Management CEO Robert Stein assures the economic fundamentals remain sound. "Drama, politically, sometimes causes markets to correct or have spikes and volatility so that could happen but I would suggest ... that [it] would not derail where the expected path is for risk assets and equities," he told TheStreet.
In corporate news, Oracle (ORCL) was one of the most actively-traded stocks on Friday after the business software maker posted fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that missed analysts' estimates. Shares slid 4% to $40.82.
Likewise, Darden Restaurant (DRI) shares shed 3.9% after the restaurant operator said quarterly profit fell 35%.
On the agenda next week, Bed, Bath & Beyond (BBBY), Walgreens (WAG), Barnes & Noble (BKS) and General Mills (GIS) are slated to release earnings reports. On the economic front, the PMI Manufacturing Index and Existing Home Sales data will be released Monday, S&P Case-Shiller home price index and new home sales Tuesday and durable goods orders and GDP figures Wednesday.
-- By Keris Alison Lahiff and Andrea Tse in New York