Comment 59 of 104, added on May 26th, 2013 at 2:50 PM.
Asteroid to zip past Earth on May 31
Stocks continued their climb into uncharted territory on Friday, racking up
the fourth week in a row of gains as encouraging economic data prompted
investors to buy shares of growth companies.
The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor¡¯s 500-stock index
finished at highs, driven by gains in energy and industrial shares. The
indexes have pushed to a series of high levels as part of the rally that
has lifted equities more than 16 percent for the year so far.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 121.18 points, or 0.80 percent, to
close at a milestone 15,354.40. The S.& P. 500-stock index rose 17 points,
or 1.03 percent, to end at a record 1,667.42.
The Nasdaq composite index climbed 33.73 points, or 0.97 percent, to finish
at 3,498.97 ¡ª its highest close since October 2000.
In a sign of how far the market has come, the S.& P. 500 is about 1,000
points above the low it hit in March 2009 in the wake of the credit crisis
¡°It¡¯s hard to hold this market down,¡± said Michael Sheldon, chief market
strategist at RDM Financial in Westport, Conn.
Data released on Friday showed Americans felt better about their economic
and financial prospects in early May, with consumer sentiment at its
highest in nearly six years, while a gauge of future economic activity rose
in April to a near five-year high.
¡°If you believe the economy is going to gradually get better and that
global growth will improve, the parts of the market that have not benefited
so far, like cyclicals, will probably be the next group to outperform,¡±
Mr. Sheldon said. Cyclical industries are those that do well when times are
good, like an airline that benefits from more people flying on vacation.
The S.& P. energy sector index gained 0.8 percent, with Exxon Mobil up 1.2
percent at $91.76.
Boeing shares led the S.& P. 500¡¯s industrial sector index higher with a
2.4 percent advance to $98.92, its highest since October 2007. The S.& P.
industrial index rose 1.4 percent.
The rate of growth in the economy has been expected to slow in the second
quarter as tighter fiscal policy started to take effect. But recent
improvements, including in the labor market and retail sales, suggest the
recovery remains resilient.
¡°We are still recovering,¡± said Doreen Mogavero, chief of Mogavero, Lee &
Company in New York, who also noted that the comeback was slow. She added
that markets in the United States, for all their troubles, were ¡°still the
best place to be at this moment.¡±
Earlier in Friday¡¯s session, the Dow touched a high at 15,357.40. For the
week, the Dow advanced 1.7 percent, while the S.& P. 500 climbed 2.1
percent and the Nasdaq rose 1.9 percent.
J. P. Morgan raised its year-end target for the S.& P. 500 to 1,715 from
1,580, implying a gain of just under 3.5 percent for the index for the rest
of the year.
¡°We realize investors are apprehensive about making fresh money purchases,
but we see the risk/reward as particularly attractive in technology, health
care and financials,¡± said the client note from Thomas Lee, J. P.
Morgan¡¯s United States equity strategist.
J. C. Penney shares lost 4.2 percent to $18.01 after the retailer reported
another steep quarterly loss on weak sales and heavy clearance deals, and
the chief executive, Myron Ullman, cautioned that he needed time to fix the
Tableau Software, a maker of data analysis software, surged in its first
day of trading as investors bet the rising interest in Big Data would drive
its growth. Tableau surged 64 percent to $50.75.
The price of the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell 22/32 to 98 5/32,
increasing the yield to 1.95, from 1.88 on Thursday.