US stocks climbed for a second day, as the S&P 500 notched a record-high close of 2,000.2, gaining 0.11% on the day. The Dow gained 0.18% to close at 17,106.70, while the Nasdaq increased by 0.29% to close at 4,570.64.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Energy performed the best among the 10 S&P 500 sectors, rising 0.51%, while industrials was the worst and lost 0.33% on the day.
Burger King Worldwide Inc. and Tim Hortons Inc. confirmed today that their $11 billion merger will go forward with assistance from Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett, Business Insider reported via the Wall Street Journal. Berkshire Hathaway will provide $3 billion in preferred equity financing.
Best Buy Co. shares was the worst performed for the S&P 500 today. The retailer’s shares fell almost 7%.
Consumer confidence is surprisingly high
The Confidence Board’s measure of consumer confidence this August jumped to 92.4%, up from 90.3% a month ago, Bloomberg reported. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expected a drop in confidence to 89%. The new result is the highest measure of consumer sentiment since October 2007.
The average American is increasingly optimistic, as the job market accelerates and the stock market reaches record highs. “Consumer confidence can sustain these high levels and even build on it a little,” Jim O’Sullivan, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, New York, told Bloomberg. “The key driver is the labor market, and the numbers there have been showing an improvement.”
18.2% of those consumers surveyed indicated that there are plenty of current jobs available, the highest percentage since January 2008, up 2.6 points from July. Inversely, the number of respondents who indicated jobs are difficult to find dropped to 30.6%, the fewest since July 2008.
No reason for alarm
According to the Wall Street Journal, the S&P 500 is considered to be in an upward trend when it is trading above 1875. If it falls below, the market will be in a downward trend. As the index is a comfortable 6% above that barrier, analysts are unconcerned with any minor movements. Currently, the S&P 500 is on track for a three-year rolling gain equaled only from 1997-1999 and 1954-1956.
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