State and Nation Business

S&P 500 index closes above 1,800 for first time

NEW YORK – The Standard & Poor's 500 index is closing above 1,800 for the first time as encouraging news from the drug industry pushes stocks higher.

The S&P 500 index rose nine points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 1,804.76 on Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 55 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,064.77. The Nasdaq gained 22 points, or 0.6 percent, to 3,991.65

Biotechnology company Biogen Idec surged on reports that it won market exclusivity for its top-selling multiple sclerosis drug in Europe. The stock rose the most in the S&P 500 index.

The stock market is on track for a 27 percent gain this year. Major indexes have surged as solid corporate earnings, a strengthening economy and easy-money policies from the Federal Reserve have drawn investors to stocks.

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