Stock Market Today: S&P Books Best August Since 2000 Despite Geopolitical Threats

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It was one of the slowest trading days of the year heading into the Labor Day weekend, but U.S. markets closed just slightly higher on Friday, capping four straight weekly gains and booking their best August since 2000. The close also marks the biggest monthly gain since February. 

The S&P 500  hit a new closing high. A continued flow of good economic data and speculation about European Central Bank stimulus both played bolstering roles in the markets relentless advance.

"It's amazing that with all the geopolitical tension in the world, the U.S. market was able to post its strongest August in 13 years, while the other 25 developed markets as a group were in the red. Speaks to the relative strength and stability of the U.S. system," said S&P Dow Jones Indices' senior index analyst, Howard Silverblatt.

TheStreet's Jill Malandrino takes a look at what we can expect in the shortened holiday week ahead:

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average  rose 0.11% to 17,098.45. The S&P was up 0.33% to 2,003.37. The Nasdaq ticked up 0.5% to 4,580.27. Despite the thin volume of 2.3 billion shares changing hands on the New York Stock Exchange and 1.3 billion shares on the Nasdaq, 184 companies made new 52-week highs vs. 10 making new lows.

Read More: Why Apollo Investment, Royal Bank of Canada Should Be in Your Portfolio

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