04/30/2013 -Stocks rose moderately on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 ending at another all-time closing high on a jump in Apple and encouraging economic data.
The benchmark index hit a new intraday high in the last minutes of trading, following a session that was largely marked by slight moves as investors found few reasons to extend recent gains.
Technology shares led the day’s advance, contributing to the Nasdaq’s sharp gain.
Encouraging data on home prices and consumer confidence added to the day’s positive tone, though a decline in regional business activity underlined the growth concerns that remain.
“Even though the overall backdrop isn’t overly positive, the market has a strong underlying bid, where it wants to go up on earnings and the Federal Reserve having our back with policy,” said Michael Mullaney, chief investment officer of Fiduciary Trust Co in Boston.
Apple (AAPL.O) rose 2.9 percent to $442.78 after coming to market with the largest non-bank bond sale in history as it seeks funding to return cash to shareholders. The tech giant has been one of the biggest drags on the S&P 500 this year, falling nearly 17 percent in 2013.
U.S. home prices rose in February at their fastest rate in almost seven years while consumer confidence rebounded in April. However, business activity in the U.S. Midwest unexpectedly contracted in April to its lowest level since September 2009.
The S&P 500 closed out its sixth straight month of gains, its longest winning streak since September 2009, as investors used any pullback as a buying opportunity.
“There’s more good news than bad news, and the bad news isn’t enough to disrupt the uptrend we’ve been in,” said Steve Sosnick, equity-risk manager at Timber Hill/Interactive Brokers Group in Greenwich, Connecticut.
About 6.55 billion shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and NYSE MKT, above the daily average so far this year of about 6.36 billion shares.
The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) gained 21.05 points, or 0.14 percent, to 14,839.80 at the close. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX) rose 3.96 points, or 0.25 percent, to 1,597.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC) gained 21.77 points, or 0.66 percent, to close at 3,328.79.
Equities continue to draw support from expectations that central banks will maintain low interest rates and other economic stimulus measures. A statement from the Federal Reserve due Wednesday is expected to keep in place the central bank’s pace of bond buying to stimulate the economy. Read the rest of this entry »