Buoyed by bet­ter-than-hoped earn­ings

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE MARKETS - — Bloomberg News

The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500-stock in­dex ad­vanced for a sixth week, cap­ping the long­est win­ning streak since Au­gust, amid bet­ter-than-es­ti­mated cor­po­rate earn­ings as Euro­pean lead­ers reached a bud­get deal.

Ap­ple added 4.7 per­cent af­ter say­ing it’s in dis­cus­sions to re­turn more cash to share­hold­ers. Dell was un­changed for the week, af­ter a four-day rally, as it’s go­ing pri­vate in a $24.4 bil­lion lever­aged buy­out that sig­nals the wan­ing of the per­sonal-com­puter in­dus­try it once dom­i­nated.

The S&P 500 rose 0.3 per­cent for the week to 1517.93, a five-year high. The bench­mark mea­sure is about 3 per­cent away from its Oc­to­ber 2007 record of 1565.15. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age lost 16.82 points, or 0.1 per­cent, to 13,992.97.

“When you have this sit­u­a­tion, where earn­ings are out­per­form­ing es­ti­mates, it’s gen­er­ally sup­port­ive for stocks,” said Michael Hol­land, chair­man of Hol­land & Co., which over­sees as­sets of more than $4 bil­lion.

About 75 per­cent of the 341 S&P 500 com­pa­nies that re­ported fourth-quar­ter re­sults have beat es­ti­mates. Stocks also rose as Euro­pean Union lead­ers pre­pared the firstever cuts in the bloc’s bud­get af­ter Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank Pres­i­dent Mario Draghi said re­cent cur­rency ad­vances may slow price gains and the pace of ex­pan­sion.

The Trea­sury will sell $35 bil­lion in three-month bills and $30 bil­lion in six­month bills Mon­day. They yielded 0.09 per­cent and 0.12 per­cent in when-is­sued trad­ing. The United States will also sell four-week bills, $32 bil­lion in three-year notes, $24 bil­lion in 10-year notes and $16 bil­lion in 30-year bonds.

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