(CNBC) U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday, with the Dow topping 18,000 for the first time in April as investors looked ahead to the official start of earnings season next week. (Tweet This)
"I think this week we had some pretty good headlines—high profile M&A that boosted confidence, especially the Shell deal (indicating there) will be more M&A in energy," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank. "It boosts quality."
Shell's $69 billion deal to acquire UK's BG Group was just one of several major corporate announcements this week.
Advertisement - story continues below
Ablin added that fair to positive economic data and signs of global recovery also helped equities gain.