partlycloudy
Monday August 31st, 2015 5:53PM

Stocks climb back to records after retail boost

By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) -- Macy's gave the stock market some early holiday cheer.

Stock indexes climbed back into record territory Wednesday after the department store chain gave an optimistic forecast for holiday sales. Macy's surged 9 percent, leading strong gains among retailers including J.C. Penney, Nordstrom and Target.

The shopping season is a make-or-break time for retailers because it can account for as much as 40 percent of annual revenue. It also gives investors an indication of where consumer spending, a crucial component of the U.S. economy, is headed.

"When the consumer starts spending, it's pretty much a rising tide," said Ron Florance, deputy chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank. "That gives a big lift across the board."

The S&P 500 rose 14.31 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,782, its 34th record close this year.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 70.96 points, or 0.5 percent, to 15,821.63, also a record. The Nasdaq composite rose 45.66 points, or 1.2 percent, to 3,965.58, well below its record close of 5,048.52 reached in March 2000.

Macy's jumped $4.35 to $50.68. Its earnings climbed 22 percent for the quarter ended. Nov. 2. The department store chain, which rose the most in the S&P 500 index, was the first major retailer to report earnings for the quarter.

U.S. stocks started the day lower as investors considered when the Federal Reserve might start reducing its economic stimulus.

The Fed is buying $85 billion of bonds a month to keep interest rates low and support the economy. That has helped drive a rally in stocks this year. Surprisingly strong reports on economic growth and hiring last week have led investors to speculate that the Fed may pare back its stimulus sooner than expected.

"We're in a pause as everyone waits for more data," said Kate Warne, a strategist at investment adviser Edward Jones.

Investors will closely follow Thursday's confirmation hearing for Janet Yellen, who has been nominated to succeed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, for clues about when the Fed may begin to pull back its economic stimulus.

Chegg, an online textbook rental company, flopped on its first day of trading, slumping $2.82, or 22.6 percent, to $9.68. Another market debut did much better: Extended Stay America, a hotel operator, jumped $3.87, or 19 percent, to $23.87.

In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.73 percent from 2.77 percent Tuesday.

About 90 percent of companies in the S&P 500 have now reported third-quarter results, and earnings are projected to rise by 5.6 percent in the July-to-September period, according to S&P Capital IQ. That's better than the 4.9 percent growth recorded in the second quarter and better than the 2.4 percent growth in same period a year earlier.

The strong trend in earnings should help the stock market rebound from any weakness caused by concerns that the Fed is set to cut its stimulus, said Dan Morris, Global Investment Strategist at TIAA-CREF, an asset management company.

"What really matters are earnings for corporations," Morris said. "If people focus on that, it's all pretty good."

In commodities trading, the price of oil rebounded after a slump on Tuesday. Oil rose 84 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $93.88 a barrel. Gold fell $2.80, or 0.2 percent, to $1,268.40 an ounce.

Among other stocks making big moves:

- Potbelly rose $2.52, or 9.3 percent, to $29.58, after its third-quarter earnings came in ahead of market expectations. It was the restaurant operator's first quarter as a publicly traded company.

- Perry Ellis fell $4.47, or 23 percent, to $15 after lowering its revenue forecast, citing fewer shipments and lower sales through its direct retail channel. The clothing company also cut its full-year forecast.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 1 year ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
Missing Ga. bank director arrested in Brunswick
A bank director accused of losing millions of investors' dollars before vanishing last year was arrested Tuesday during a traffic stop in a city in south Georgia.
7:00PM ( 1 year ago )
Amtrak to suspend some Crescent service in Jan., Feb.
Amtrak service will shut down in parts of the Southeast for several days in January and February for rail maintenance by Norfolk Southern Railway.
9:00AM ( 1 year ago )
Lung cancer scans urged for some smokers, not all
Certain current or former heavy smokers should start getting yearly scans for lung cancer to cut their risk of death from the nation's top cancer killer, government advisers said Monday - even as they stressed that the tests aren't for everyone.
7:26AM ( 1 year ago )
Business News
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Victim critical following apartment fire
A 41-year-old woman was in critical but stable condition Tuesday after being rescued from an apartment fire in Forsyth County late Monday afternoon.
3:16PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Qualifiers trickling in for local municipal elections
Qualifying is underway in several municipal elections in Hall County, and as of Monday afternoon, a few names have officially been added to the mix.
By AccessWDUN Staff
4:25PM ( 1 hour ago )
Georgia lawmaker says he had account on cheating website
A state lawmaker from Macon says he had an account on the cheating website Ashley Madison.
3:48PM ( 2 hours ago )
Flowery Branch considers a ban on panhandling and "urban camping"
Flowery Branch city councils will consider an ordinance Thursday that would ban "urban camping and panhandling" in the city.
2:16PM ( 3 hours ago )
White County mails property tax notices; due Nov. 15
White County property owners started receiving their 2015 tax notices over the weekend.
2:03PM ( 3 hours ago )
Truett-McConnell College purchases Cleveland Worship Center
It was a time of celebration Sunday night at Cleveland Worship Center, not just a time to worship the Lord, but a time to celebrate a partnership deal between the church and Truett-McConnell College.
11:56AM ( 5 hours ago )