S&P 500 closes at new record high

GMT 21:54 2015 Thursday ,14 May

Arab Today, arab today S&P 500 closes at new record high

Traders in New York where the Dow Jones
New York - AFP

The S&P 500 bolted to a fresh record high close Thursday, led by strong gains in Apple, Facebook and other technology stocks.

The broad-market S&P 500 rose 22.62 points (1.08 percent) to 2,121.10, more than three points above the prior record of 2,117.69 set on April 24.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 191.75 (1.06 percent) to 18,252.24, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 69.10 (1.39 percent) at 5,050.80.

Analysts said the equities surge was partly due to technical factors, such as the market's ability to rally earlier in the week as it flirted with a key level on the lower end of the recent trading range.

"The problem is the last few times we got one of these big up days, there was no follow-through the next days," said Mace Blicksilver, director of Marblehead Asset Management. "Today is nice, but tomorrow's the real test."

The new S&P 500 record reflected the continued resilience of US stocks thanks to loose monetary policy and in spite of lackluster US data, such as Wednesday's report showing flat retail sales in April.

Apple, the biggest company by market capitalization, surged 2.3 percent. Others with large gains included Facebook (+3.7 percent), Microsoft (+2.3 percent) and many biotechnology stocks, including Gilead Sciences (+2.2 percent).

Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores gained 0.7 percent as it unveiled a test program in the US to give online customers unlimited delivery of goods for $50 a year, putting it in direct competition with Amazon's "Prime" service.

Department-store chain Kohl's became the latest large retailer to report disappointing results, plummeting 13.3 percent after first-quarter sales of $4.12 billion, below the $4.19 billion projected by analysts.

Other retailers that fell included Target (-3.2 percent) and Best Buy (-3.8 percent).

Cosmetics company Avon Products rose 6.0 percent following an apparently bogus takeover offer from an entity calling itself PTG Capital Partners. Avon said it had received no offer from PTG "and has not been able to confirm such an entity exists."

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.24 percent from 2.29 percent Wednesday, while the 30-year dropped to 3.06 percent from 3.08 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.


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