December 18, 2014
S&P 500 closes at record on bank earnings, data
US stocks rose with the S&P 500 climbing to an all-time closing high after strong earnings from Bank of America and data signaled that the economy was improving.
Bank of America Corp climbed 2.3 percent to $17.15 and gave one of the biggest boosts to the S&P 500 after the second-largest US bank said its quarterly profit surged by nearly $3 billion on an increase in revenue.
The report came a day after both JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co also posted better-than-expected earnings, though Wells Fargo's mortgage lending slowed to the lowest level in five years.
Wall Street's rally erased some of 2014's early weakness, putting the S&P 500 near the break-even level for the year.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 108.08 points, or 0.66 percent, to end at 16,481.94. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index advanced 9.50 points, or 0.52 percent, to close at 1,848.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 31.87 points, or 0.76 percent, to finish at 4,214.88.
The S&P 500 ended at a record high, beating its previous record close by just 0.02 of a point. At its session peak, the index climbed to 1,850.84, a record intraday high.
Apple Inc shares rose 2 percent to $557.36 a day after Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said the company's deal with China Mobile would help it build on its momentum in the country. This was the third straight day of gains for the tech giant, and it is up 4.6 percent over that period.
After the closing bell, CSX Corp reported fourth-quarter earnings and sales that were slightly below expectations. Shares fell 2.1 percent in extended-hours trading. CSX ended the regular session at $29.23, up 1.2 percent.
About 62 percent of the stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange closed higher, while 63 percent of Nasdaq-listed shares ended in positive territory.
Roughly 5.95 billion shares traded on all US platforms, according to BATS exchange data.