US stocks rose today with the Dow Jones closing at a record high, boosted by the latest merger news and more reported strong corporate earnings.
By Paolo Palazzi-Xirinachs
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 77.52 points or 0.45%, to end at 17,138.20. The S&P 500 gained 8.29 points or 0.42%, to 1,981.57. The Nasdaq Composite added 9.58 points or 0.22%, to 4,425.97.
Data today showed US industrial production climbed 0.2% in June, capping the strongest quarter in almost four years. The Federal Reserve said in its Beige Book business survey released today that economic growth was modest to moderate in the latest period as all 12 of its districts reported stronger consumer spending and expanded manufacturing. Equity futures rose early in the day as a report showed China’s economic growth accelerated for the first time in three quarters. Gross domestic product rose 7.5% in the April-June period from a year earlier, beating the 7.4% median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists.
Time Warner Inc. shares jumped 17.1% to $83.13 and ranked as the S&P 500's best performer after Twenty-First Century Fox confirmed it made an $80 billion takeover offer for the company that was turned down. Twenty-First Century Fox shares fell 6.2% to $33.00. An index of semiconductors shot up 1.1% and hit an intraday high of 652.28, its highest since August 2001. The index was led higher by gains in Intel Corp, up 9.3% at $34.65. The world's largest chipmaker reported second-quarter results that topped analysts' estimates. Shares of Micron Technologies rose 1.8 % to $34.64.
During the regular session, a partnership struck between IBM and Apple Inc. helped boost the major US stock indexes. IBM will exclusively sell iPhones and iPads loaded with applications designed for business clients this fall. IBM shares gained 2.1% to $192.36 and gave the Dow its biggest boost, while Apple fell 0.6% to $94.78. S&P 500 companies' profits are now expected to grow 4.8% in the second quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data, down from the 8.4% growth forecast at the start of April. Revenue is seen up 3.1%. Bank of America lost 1.9% to $15.51. The second-largest US bank by assets reported a 43% drop in second-quarter profit as mortgage revenue fell and litigation costs increased. The bank also offered $13 billion to settle a probe into mortgage securities it sold, the Wall Street Journal reported.
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