New data showed U.S. consumer sentiment reached an almost six-year high in early May, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500 stock index to a rally last Friday that pushed both indexes up 17% this year. Major European equity indexes climbed to highs last seen five years ago, buoyed by a rally in automakers' shares, which rose on signs of a revival in domestic sales. Stocks on both sides of the Atlantic were boosted after a survey of U.S. consumer sentiment in early May rose more than economists had expected, with more Americans giving favorable views about their financial and economic prospects, particularly among upper-income households. In a separate report by an industry group, a gauge of future economic activity also suggested the expected U.S. slowdown will be temporary, as the index rose in April to a near five-year high. The two reports were encouraging after a raft of data a day earlier suggested U.S. economic growth was cooling. The U.S. dollar hit a four-year high against the Japanese yen. For the week, the Dow rose 1.6% to 15,354.40. The S&P 500 gained 2% to 1,666.12, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 1.8% to 3,498.97.
Lifted by the stock market's rally, the Government Development Bank's Puerto Rico Stock Index (PRSI) closed last week in positive territory for the fourth week in a row. For the week, the PRSI gained 55.55, or 2.87%, to close at 1,991.65. Leading the list of gainers last week was Doral Financial Corp., which added 33˘, or 42.84%, to close at $1.10. It was followed by OFG Bancorp, which jumped 66˘, or 3.88%, to close at $17.69. Shares of Popular Inc. inched up 96˘, or 3.24%, to close at $30.60. First BanCorp climbed 17˘, or 2.83%, to close at $6.18. Last week's sole nongainer was Triple-S Management Corp., which erased 79˘, or 4.05%, to close at $18.74