Tech stocks push in­dexes to records

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS BEAT -

Gains in tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies helped lift U.S. stock in­dexes Monday, nudg­ing the mar­ket once again into record ter­ri­tory.

The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex closed at an all­time high. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age did too, ex­tend­ing its win­ning streak to 10 days.

Traders bid up shares in mi­crochip mak­ers and other tech com­pa­nies. Con­sumer­fo­cused firms also helped lift the mar­ket. En­ergy firms de­clined the most as the price of crude oil fell. Banks and in­dus­trial firms also lagged.

Pos­i­tive eco­nomic data and strong com­pany earn­ings have helped nudge the stock mar­ket mostly higher in re­cent weeks.

Head­ing into Monday, about 82% of S&P 500 com­pa­nies had re­ported quar­terly re­sults, with roughly 52% hav­ing posted bet­terthan-ex­pected earn­ings and rev­enue, ac­cord­ing to S&P Global Mar­ket In­tel­li­gence. Tech firms led all oth­ers, with 73% of the sec­tor’s re­sults beat­ing ex­pec­ta­tions.

In­vestors have wel­comed the earn­ings growth, push­ing the mar­ket fur­ther into record ter­ri­tory. That has fu­eled spec­u­la­tion about how high the mar­ket can go.

“What you want to see is a broad range of stocks push­ing the mar­ket higher, and what we’re see­ing are fewer stocks push­ing the mar­ket higher,” said Quincy Krosby, chief mar­ket strate­gist at Pru­den­tial Fi­nan­cial. “That’s not nec­es­sar­ily a pre­scrip­tion for a ma­jor pull­back, but it’s some­thing to watch.”

Tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies led the mar­ket’s gain­ers Monday. Lam Re­search rose 3.9% to $155.84. KLA-Ten­cor rose 3.6% to $92.01.

En­ergy stocks were on the other end of the spec­trum. New­field Ex­plo­ration slid 5% to $26.44.

Traders bid up shares in com­pa­nies whose earn­ings beat ex­pec­ta­tions. Tyson Foods climbed 5.7% to $66.90. The meat pro­ces­sor’s fore­casts also pleased in­vestors. ON Semi­con­duc­tor jumped 8.1% to $16.33.

Some com­pa­nies’ re­sults dis­ap­pointed. Arm­strong Floor­ing slid 17.5% to $14.25 af­ter its quar­terly re­sults fell well short of fore­casts.

NxS­tage Med­i­cal, a med­i­cal de­vice com­pany, soared 28.2% to $29.67 af­ter it agreed to be ac­quired by Ger­many’s Fre­se­nius Med­i­cal Care for $30 a share in a cash deal val­ued at about $2 bil­lion.

Rock­well Collins jumped 6.8% to $127.07 af­ter Reuters re­ported that United Tech­nolo­gies of­fered to buy the avi­a­tion elec­tron­ics maker.

Alibaba Group rose 3.6% to $158.84 and ho­tel com­pany Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional rose 1.1% to 106.17 af­ter they an­nounced a joint ven­ture aimed at Chi­nese tourists.

Bench­mark U.S. crude fell 19 cents, or 0.4%, to $49.39 a bar­rel. Brent crude fell 5 cents, or 0.1%, to $52.37 a bar­rel. Whole­sale gaso­line fell 2 cents to $1.63 a gal­lon. Heat­ing oil fell 1 cent to $1.64 a gal­lon. Nat­u­ral gas rose 3 cents to $2.80 per 1,000 cu­bic feet.

Gold rose 10 cents to $1,264.70 an ounce. Sil­ver held steady at $16.25 an ounce. Cop­per rose 2 cents to $2.91 a pound.

The dol­lar rose to 110.72 yen from 110.67 yen. It weak­ened against the euro, which rose to $1.1793 from $1.1769.

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