NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Greece dominated the market's attention all week. So investors might welcome a chance to focus again on the U.S. economy in the coming week, when trading will be shortened by Monday's holiday.
The S&P 500 closed Friday at a new record high of 2,096.95, posting a 2% gain for the week. The Nasdaq climbed 3.1% for the week, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average regained its 18,000 level, up 1.1% for the five trading days.
Investors will be watching Monday's meeting of eurozone finance ministers for any developments on the Greek talks. In the meantime, most of the attention next week will likely be on developments closer to home.
"There appears to have been underlying progress made in Greek negotiations even as bridge financing language will need further work," said Gennadiy Goldbery, TD Securities U.S. strategist. "All this suggests that the focus over the coming week is likely to turn back toward economic data as the market attempts to discern whether global economic growth trends are stronger than previously expected."
U.S. markets will reopen Tuesday after being closed Monday for Presidents Day. The real action is on Wednesday with the release of several economic indicators, including January housing starts and building permits, and last month's producer prices and industrial production figures.
Wednesday afternoon, the Federal Reserve will release its minutes from a January meeting in which they removed "considerable time" phrasing and doubled-down on its commitment to be "patient" in determining when to raise rates.
"Even if the FOMC minutes were to have a "dovish" tilt, we would not read too much into it," said RBS economists Michelle Girard and Guy Berger. "In the wake of the strong January jobs report, we ourselves think it is a close call whether the Fed first raises rates in June or September."
And, on Thursday, weekly jobless claims will be released as usual, along with February's Philadelphia Fed Survey, a case study for manufacturing conditions used to forecast growth across the Fed districts.
But back to this week. Friday's stock gains were small but steady, driven by a rebound in oil prices and a rally among energy stocks. Miners BHP Billiton (BHP) , Rio Tinto (RIO) , and Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) were all higher, while oil companies Valero Energy (VLO) and Marathon Petroleum (MPC) bounced. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) jumped 2.2%.
Crude oil was gaining for a second day on Friday as investors bet on a bottom after six months of plummeting prices. West Texas Intermediate crude added 3.2% to $52.87 a barrel, though remained at more than half a mid-summer peak.
Utilities stocks were lower, dragged down by Exelon (EXC) which missed earnings estimates because of unfavorable weather over its fourth quarter. Others in the sectors were lower including Southern (SO) , Duke Energy (DUK) and Dominion Resources (D) . The Utilities SPDR ETF (XLU) dropped 1.5%.
Leading the S&P 500, clothing retailer VF Corp (VFC) jumped 6% after meeting fourth-quarter earnings estimates and posting a 9% increase in sales. On a constant currency basis, revenue increased 11%, led by a 13% gain in its outdoor and action sports segment.
Media network CBS (CBS) reported record revenue of $3.68 billion in its fourth quarter, due to 4% ad revenue gains thanks to Thursday Night Football and mid-term political ads. Shares added 3.6%. American International Group (AIG) shook off disappointing earnings on Friday, climbing more than 2%. The insurer reported adjusted earnings of 97 cents a share, missing estimates by 8 cents.
Weighing on the Dow, American Express (AXP) continued to decline on Friday after Costco (COST) said it would stop accepting AmEx cards in April next year after the companies failed to renew a contract. Since the announcement was made Thursday, shares have tanked nearly 10%.
Consumer sentiment in February slid from an 11-year high to 93.6, according to the Reuters-University of Michigan survey. Economists had expected an unchanged reading of 98.1. According to the survey, consumers were feeling less uncertain about the labor market after layoffs in the energy sector and showed unwillingness to spend on big purchases.
"At face value, a fall in confidence could be a worrying sign following the weakness in underlying retail sales in both December and January," said Capital Economics assistant economist Andrew Hunter. "[But] the decline merely reversed the gain in January and, other than that reading last month, confidence is the highest it has been for seven years."
U.S. import prices fell at a slower-than-expected pace in January, down 2.8% month over month. Economists had expected a decline of 3.2%. Export prices also fell, down 2% compared to a forecast for a 0.9% decrease.
--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.