Tech, health care stocks send in­dexes soar­ing

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Front Page - By Mar­ley Jay The As­so­ci­ated Press

U.S. stock in­dexes drifted back to record highs as in­vestors got ready for an­other round of cor­po­rate re­ports.

NEW YORK » U.S. stock in­dexes drifted back to record highs Wed­nes­day as in­vestors got ready for an­other round of cor­po­rate re­ports to be­gin. Tech­nol­ogy, health care and house­hold goods com­pa­nies all rose.

Tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies like PayPal, Visa, and Google’s par­ent com­pany Al­pha­bet made some of the big­gest gains as the mar­ket was lit­tle changed for the third day in a row. Banks slipped along with in­ter­est rates and in­dus­trial com­pa­nies took small losses.

Min­utes from the Fed­eral Re­serve’s Septem­ber meet­ing showed of­fi­cials were split about whether they need to raise in­ter­est rates again soon. But they ap­peared to be get­ting used to the idea that in­fla­tion is go­ing to stay lower than they had hoped. For years it’s come up short of their 2-per­cent tar­get.

Kristina Hooper, global mar­kets strate­gist for In­vesco, said one rea­son for that low in­fla­tion is con­tin­ued fall­out from the fi­nan­cial cri­sis a decade ago. In her view, many of the jobs that were lost after the 2008-09 melt­down were re­placed by lower-pay­ing ones.

“There are still a good por­tion of Amer­i­cans who are mak­ing less to­day than they made be­fore the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis,” she said. “That’s play­ing a role in lower wage growth and low in­fla­tion.”

The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex gained 4.60 points, or 0.2 per­cent, to 2,555.24. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age added 42.21 points, or 0.2 per­cent, to 22,872.89. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite rose 16.30 points, or 0.2 per­cent, to 6,603.55. All three in­dexes fin­ished at all­time highs. The Rus­sell 2000 in­dex of smaller-com­pany stocks edged down 1.08 points, or 0.1 per­cent, to 1,506.92.

Hooper said in­fla­tion might in­crease if Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Congress pass a tax cut that en­cour­ages busi­nesses to in­vest more money. She said that busi­nesses and con­sumers both feel op­ti­mistic about the econ­omy, but they’re re­luc­tant to spend money be­cause they’re not sure what eco­nomic pol­icy will look like.

Air­lines rose for the sec­ond day in a row. Delta Air Lines’ profit and rev­enue were bet­ter than an­a­lysts an­tic­i­pated, and the com­pany also is­sued a strong fore­cast for the fourth quar­ter. Delta rose 37 cents to $53.07. It has surged 9 per­cent since Oct. 3, when it raised its third-quar­ter pro­jec­tions. JetBlue gained 30 cents, or 1.5 per­cent, to $20.53 after it gave an update on the rev­enue it lost fol­low­ing hur­ri­canes Irma and Maria.

John­son & John­son led health care com­pa­nies higher after it asked reg­u­la­tors to ap­prove its drug apa­lu­tamide. It’s in­tended for pa­tients with a hard-to-treat form of prostate cancer. John­son & John­son stock climbed $2.75, or 2.1 per­cent, to $136.65.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Trea­sury note fell to 2.35 per­cent from 2.36 per­cent. That sent af­fected bank stocks be­cause lower yields mean lower in­ter­est rates on loans, and lower prof­its for banks.

JPMor­gan Chase and Cit­i­group will re­port their quar­terly re­sults Thurs­day morn­ing as bank earn­ings get started.

An up­set loss by the U.S. men’s soc­cer team dented shares of Twenty-First Cen­tury Fox. The team will miss the 2018 World Cup fol­low­ing its loss to Trinidad and Tobago. That could cut into ad­ver­tis­ing rev­enue for Fox, which will broad­cast the event. The stock fell 66 cents, or 2.5 per­cent, to $26.11.

RICHARD DREW — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE

The Amer­i­can flag flies above the Wall Street en­trance to the New York Stock Ex­change.

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