Dow has first close above 14,000 mark
NEW YORK » Wall Street moved soundly higher yesterday, sending the Dow Jones industrials to their first close above 14,000 as investors kept jitters about the economy at bay and focused on a string of upbeat earnings reports.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index also had a record close.
Profit news from companies like International Business Machines Corp., network equipment maker Juniper Networks Inc., and business software company SAP AG help lift stocks and boosted investors' appetite for technology issues.
"I think we are seeing people trying to decide whether earnings are sustainable," said Jeffrey Dunham, principal at Dunham & Associates in San Diego. He said the stock market's recent run-up in part reflects investors' desire not to miss out on gains.
The Dow rose 82.19, or 0.59 percent, to 14,000.41. The blue chip index danced around the 14,000 mark during the session, having first reached it on Tuesday but not closing above that level until yesterday. The Dow's close topped the previous record of 13,971.55 set Tuesday and marked the index's 32nd record close of the year.
Broader stock indicators also gained yesterday. The S&P 500 rose 6.91, or 0.45 percent, to 1,553.08; its previous record of 1,552.50 occurred Friday. The technology-focused Nasdaq composite index rose 20.55, or 0.76 percent, to 2,720.04, following the upbeat tech earnings.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 5.94, or 0.70 percent, to 851.85.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by about 2 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange, where consolidated volume came to 3.19 billion shares, compared with 3.55 billion Wednesday.
Bonds showed little overall movement. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was flat at 5.03 percent from late Wednesday. The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices rose.
The stock market's rise came even as oil moved higher. Light, sweet crude settled up 87 cents at $75.92 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after briefly touching $76 for the first time in 11 months.
Yesterday, earnings held Wall Street's interest. IBM, one of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow industrials, jumped $4.78, or 4.3 percent, to $115.86 after the technology company said strength in its software division and an improvement in its services business helped second-quarter profits. The company raised its profit forecast for the year.
Microsoft Corp. fell 51 cents to $31 in after-hours trading, after disappointing investors following several robust quarters that beat analyst estimates. Yesterday's results were in line with estimates.
Juniper Networks Inc. reported it swung to a profit in the second quarter from a loss a year earlier. The stock rose $3.33, or 12.5 percent, to $30.06; the stock topped a previous 52-week high of $27.99 and traded as high as $30.97.
Germany's SAP rose $3.59, or 6.9 percent, to $55.54 after reporting market-share gains boosted profits.
Alcoa fell $1.83, or 3.9 percent, to $44.62 after The Australian newspaper reported that BHP Billiton dropped plans to make a bid for the aluminum producer.