Stim­u­lus, earn­ings spur stocks

The Washington Post Sunday - - MARKETS -

Cen­tral-bank stim­u­lus and strong earn­ings from the largest tech com­pa­nies com­bined to give U.S. stocks their fourth straight weekly gain and pro­pel the Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 to­ward its best month since 2011.

The S&P 500 has jumped 11 per­cent from its sum­mer low, with the surge in Oc­to­ber led by com­modi­ties pro­duc­ers and tech­nol­ogy shares, the groups that fu­eled the Au­gust sell­off. The gains put U.S. eq­ui­ties back in the black for the first time since the cor­rec­tion. The S&P 500 ral­lied 2.1 per­cent in the five days to 2,075.15, for a fourth weekly gain that is the longest streak of the year. The gauge closed at the high­est since Aug. 19. The Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age added 157.54 points to 17,646.70, while the Nas­daq 100 In­dex surged 4.2 per­cent for its best week since July.

Eq­ui­ties got an boost dur­ing the week from cen­tral banks. On Fri­day, the Peo­ple’s Bank of China cut in­ter­est rates and banks’ re­serve re­quire­ments to sup­port a slow­ing econ­omy. That an­nounce­ment came a day af­ter the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank sig­naled it will bol­ster stim­u­lus if needed. Then, the re­sults from Mi­crosoft Corp., Google par­ent Al­pha­bet Inc. and Ama­ Inc. late Thurs­day sparked a rally.

The U.S. Trea­sury will sell $26 bil­lion in three-month bills and $26 bil­lion in six­month bills on Oct. 26. They yielded 0.025 per­cent and 0.14 per­cent, re­spec­tively, in when-is­sued trad­ing.

Editor’s note: Go­ing for­ward, our weekly com­pos­ite stock list­ing high­lights com­pa­nies based in Wash­ing­ton or with a strong pres­ence here. The rest of the ta­ble shows firms as ranked by mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tion. And we’ve added year-to-date data be­cause read­ers told us it would be use­ful.

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