clear
Tuesday September 26th, 2017 7:00AM

Banks, tech lead US stocks to modest gains, new Dow record

By The Associated Press

Banks and technology companies led U.S. stocks to modest gains Thursday, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average to its second record close in two days.

Big retail chains and other consumer-focused stocks were among the gainers. Energy companies rose as the price of crude oil increased. Phone companies and utilities lagged the market.

"We're continuing to hit record highs," said Erik Davidson, chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank. "It is a resilient market, impervious to whatever comes out of Washington."

The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 4.58 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,447.83. The Dow rose 20.95 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,553.09. The Nasdaq composite added 13.27 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,274.44. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks inched up 1.34 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,425.66.

The major indexes are all on pace to end the week with gains.

Trading was mostly subdued for much of the day as investors weighed new economic data on applications for unemployment benefits and prices at the wholesale level.

Overall, investors were focused on the coming wave of corporate earnings.

"Markets are really biding their time until we get into tomorrow's more robust earnings releases," said Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager for Private Wealth Management at U.S. Bank.

Banks and other financials stocks posted the largest gains. T. Rowe Price Group added $3.61, or 4.8 percent, to $79.19. Goldman Sachs Group rose $3.01, or 1.3 percent, to $230.40. Morgan Stanley picked up 56 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $45.52.

The gains among financial companies came as investors looked ahead to Friday, when several big banks, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo release their second-quarter results.

"Banks certainly operate a bit in their own orbit, but at the same time financials globally are a proxy for the overall economy. Investors are definitely looking to see how those come out," Davidson said.

Traders will be focused on companies' latest quarterly earnings for the next few weeks. The market expects earnings per share growth of about 7 percent from companies in the S&P 500.

Delta Air Lines released its earnings Thursday. Its shares slid 1.8 percent after the company reported a smaller profit and less revenue than analysts expected. The stock shed 98 cents to $54.50.

Traders also bid up shares in technology sector companies. NetApp rose $1.21, or 3 percent, to $41.38. PayPal gained $1.35, or 2.4 percent, to $57.90.

Several large retailers had a good day.

Gap notched the biggest gain among S&P 500 companies. The stock climbed $1.21, or 5.6 percent, to $22.78. Macy's rose 87 cents, or 4.1 percent, to $22.10.

Investors cheered Target's latest quarterly outlook. The retailer raised its second-quarter forecasts and said sales and customer traffic increased. The stock gained $2.44, or 4.8 percent, to $53.31.

"That's been a bit of fresh air in a very, very challenged sector," Davidson said.

NRG Energy climbed 5.3 percent a day after the company disclosed plans to raise up to $4 billion through asset sales in order to lower its debt. The stock picked up $1.11 to $22.20.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's second day testifying before Congress didn't generate any major market-moving news.

Yellen, appearing before a Senate committee, spoke about the dual risks of inflation: prices rising too slowly and prices accelerating too quickly. Her comments appeared to be an effort to modify the impact of her comments before a House committee on Wednesday.

The House remarks were seen as signaling that the Fed might slow the pace of rate hikes if inflation does keep falling below the Fed's 2 percent target. Those remarks assuaged concerns among some traders that the Fed was raising interest rates too quickly in the face of stalling inflation and sluggish U.S. economic growth, setting off a broad market rally.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.35 percent from 2.33 percent late Wednesday.

Benchmark U.S. crude gained 59 cents, or 1.3 percent, to settle at $46.08 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 68 cents, or 1.4 percent, to close at $48.42 per barrel in London.

In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline inched up less than 1 cent to $1.53 a gallon. Heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.49 a gallon. Natural gas fell 2 cents to $2.96 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold fell $1.80 to $1,217.30 an ounce. Silver slid 20 cents to $15.69 an ounce. Copper lost 2 cents to $2.66 a pound.

The dollar slipped to 113.23 yen from 113.25 yen late Wednesday. The euro weakened to $1.1406 from $1.1415.

Major stock indexes in Europe closed mostly higher.

Germany's DAX rose 0.1 percent, while the CAC 40 in France gained 0.3 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was flat.

In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index jumped 1.2 percent after a report showed that Chinese trade growth accelerated for a second month in June. Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index was flat. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.7 percent.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Hawaii Army soldier thought 9/11 was false flag attack
A U.S. soldier held on terrorism charges believed the moon landing was faked, questioned the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and thought the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were an inside job coordinated by the U.S., according to a former bunkmate
5:21PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Committee rejects graft charge in boost to Brazil leader
A congressional committee has rejected a recommendation to try Brazil's president for corruption, handing him a symbolic victory a day after a former president was convicted of graft
5:20PM ( 13 minutes ago )
House to act quickly on bipartisan measure to expand GI Bill
House Republicans and Democrats have unveiled legislation to provide the biggest expansion of college aid for military veterans in a decade
5:15PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Insect attack! US West is battling crop-killing swarms
Farmers in the U.S. West face a creepy scourge every eight years or so: Swarms of ravenous insects that can decimate crops and cause slippery, bug-slick car crashes as they march across highways and roads
5:03PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Trustees project biggest Social Security increase in years
The trustees who oversee Social Security say the millions of people who rely on the program can expect to receive their biggest payment increase in years come January.
4:58PM ( 35 minutes ago )
The Latest: Opioid advocates won't back health care bill
Coalition of opioid addiction groups say they can't support revised health care bill, say state grants won't make up for Medicaid cuts
4:33PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
AP Exclusive: Senator's family business uses Mexican labor
An arts and crafts business Sen. Joe Donnelly's family has owned for generations relies in part on Mexican manufacturing, even though the Indiana Democrat denounced Carrier Corp. last year for outsourcing jobs to Mexico
1:54PM ( 3 hours ago )
Uber cedes control in Russian market with Yandex tie-up
Uber is ceding control of its operations in Russia by agreeing to merge its ride-hailing business in the country with Yandex, the Russian search-engine leader that also runs a popular taxi-booking app
1:49PM ( 3 hours ago )
Investors: 'Pharma Bro' Shkreli was shady - and profitable
A parade of government witnesses who say they were burned by "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli have also had to admit they made hefty profits
12:32PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Yellen calls risks of inflation 'two-sided'
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says the risks of inflation are 'two-sided'
4:04PM ( 1 hour ago )
California governor scrambles for support on climate deal
Gov. Jerry Brown is painting a bleak picture of a state ravaged by climate change and consumers facing higher costs for food and electricity as he implored state lawmakers Thursday to grant his request to extend the state's signature climate initiative
3:56PM ( 1 hour ago )
APNewsBreak: House deal would boost college aid for veterans
There's a bipartisan agreement in the House on the biggest expansion of college aid for military veterans in a decade
1:22PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
US budget deficit rose in June to $90.2 billion
US budget deficit rose in June to $90.2 billion, due in part to calendar quirks
3:13PM ( 2 hours ago )
Yellen remains the driver and the focus in markets
Global stock markets were shored up Thursday by suggestions from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that the central bank may slow the pace of its interest rate increases if inflation remains below its target level.
7:46AM ( 9 hours ago )
Global shares edge higher following rally on Wall Street
Shares advance in Europe, Asia, tracking rally on Wall Street following Yellen comments on caution over interest rate hikes
4:10AM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Business - Financial Markets
McConnell reveals new health bill; will his GOP support it?
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell releases new health care bill, but he's struggling for GOP votes to pass it
1:58PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: New GOP health plan seeks conservative support
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has released a revamped Republican health care bill, and it seeks out conservative support by letting insurers sell low-premium policies with skimpy coverage
12:18PM ( 5 hours ago )
New McConnell health bill contains plan sought by Sen. Cruz
Aides say Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed to include language in his new health care bill meeting demands from Sen. Ted Cruz
11:58AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Q&A: California looks to keep landmark climate policy alive
California Gov. Jerry Brown is racing to convince state lawmakers to extend his state's signature program to confront climate change
10:10PM ( 19 hours ago )
Harry Reid, Nevada governor push bipartisan energy effort
Two key players in the Republican and Democratic parties in Nevada are teaming up to host a clean-energy talk as the White House abandons a worldwide agreement to curb climate change and states are moving to the forefront of the fight
6:42PM ( 22 hours ago )
The Latest: Shell compensates victims of Pakistani oil fire
The Latest: Subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell says it's made full payments to victims of oil tanker fire that killed 215
12:23PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Utilities
Hawaii Army soldier thought 9/11 was false flag attack
A U.S. soldier held on terrorism charges believed the moon landing was faked, questioned the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and thought the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were an inside job coordinated by the U.S., according to a former bunkmate
5:21PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Committee rejects graft charge in boost to Brazil leader
A congressional committee has rejected a recommendation to try Brazil's president for corruption, handing him a symbolic victory a day after a former president was convicted of graft
5:20PM ( 13 minutes ago )
House to act quickly on bipartisan measure to expand GI Bill
House Republicans and Democrats have unveiled legislation to provide the biggest expansion of college aid for military veterans in a decade
5:15PM ( 18 minutes ago )
New Senate GOP health care bill teeters on the brink
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell releases new health care bill, but he's struggling for GOP votes to pass it
5:10PM ( 23 minutes ago )
The Latest: Lynch responds to Trump on Russian lawyer's trip
Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch says she had nothing to do with the travels of a Russian lawyer who met with the eldest son of President Donald Trump
5:09PM ( 24 minutes ago )