December 9, 2013
Dow, S&P 500 end at record highs on stimulus hopes
The Dow and S&P 500 ended at record highs today after economic data supported views that the Federal Reserve would keep its stimulus intact for several months and IBM rallied after the company announced a stock buyback.
IBM gave the biggest boost to the Dow, which led the day's gains. The stock, which also helped drive the S&P 500's advance, jumped 2.7 percent to $182.12 after the company's board of directors approved another $15 billion for stock buybacks.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 111.42 points, or 0.72 percent, to end at 15,680.35, a record close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 9.84 points, or 0.56 percent, to finish at 1,771.95, also a record closing high. The S&P 500 hit another intraday record high at 1,772.09.
The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 12.21 points, or 0.31 percent, to close at 3,952.34.
European shares edged higher early to keep within their recent, tight range as the banking sector slid after provisions for legal costs marred results at Deutsche Bank and UBS.
Shares in UBS and Deutsche Bank fell 6 percent and 2.6 percent after both banks, hit by allegations over a scam to manipulate inter-bank lending rates, said they were holding more capital to deal with legal costs.
The STOXX Europe 600 Banking index has fallen 2 percent in the past week, hit by mixed earnings and concerns about a review of euro zone's bank balance sheets that may result in some lenders having to raise capital.
The broader FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.1 percent at 1,284.48 points while the Euro STOXX 50 was up 0.3 percent at 3,030.10 points.
The FTSEurofirst has struggled to make much headway since hitting a five-year high a week ago, hit by concerns about banks, mixed earnings reports as well as uncertainty about the Federal Reserve's future monetary policy.
Propping up equity markets was BP, which added nearly one index point to the FTSEurofirst after unveiling forecast-beating results, a dividend hike, and a promise to sell more assets and return the proceeds to shareholders.
Around 53 percent of companies on the pan-European STOXX 600 index that have reported so far have beaten or met market forecasts with their results, while 47 percent have missed market forecasts.
That pattern continued today, with German industrial gases maker Linde curbing its 2013 profit outlook while French tyre company Michelin also cut its full-year operating profit target.
Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei fell as hedge funds take profits and Komatsu tumbles.