S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at record high while investors assessed the possibility of a government shutdown.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday added 53.91 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 26,071.72. The S&P 500 increased 12.27 points, or 0.44 per cent, to 2,810.30, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 40.33 points, or 0.55 per cent, to 7,336.38.

The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown, but whether the bill could pass the Senate remains uncertain.

Historically, a government shutdown has led to a short-term pullback in the stock market.

Earnings season kicked into full gear this week, with most results surpassing expectations.

Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Citigroup, and American Express are among the companies that reported better-than-expected results this week.

Fourth quarter earnings are expected to increase 12.4 per cent from the last quarter of 2016. Of the 53 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings to date for the fourth quarter of 2017, 79.2 per cent have reported earnings above analyst expectations.

On the economic front, US consumer sentiment in January slipped to 94.4, after falling to 95.9 in December, according to a survey released by the University of Michigan on Friday, lower than economists’ expectations of 97.