Both the Dow and the S&P 500 rose to record highs
Thursday, with both up around 1%. The S&P 500 climbed more than 1% to over
1,700 and the Dow jumped to over 15,600. The Nasdaq is at its highest level in
nearly 13 years.
A confluence of positive economic data, strong earnings
reports, and indications that the Fed will continue the bond-buying program
helped to drive the markets to new highs.
The market gains were driven by positive economic news from the
Department of Labor. First-time claims for unemployment benefits fell to its
lowest point in five years. The DOL job report will be released Friday and many
economists expect 180,000 jobs will have been added in July.
Bureau reported construction spending was down in June, contrary to expectations
manufacturing sentiment index jumped to 55.4, its highest level in two years.
released monthly sales figures Thursday, with most reporting strong sales. Domestic
automakers Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler all reported their best July sales
figures since before 2007. Toyota also reported its best sales since before the
Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Royak Dutch
Shell (RDSA) both reported quarterly earnings that fell short of
Procter & Gamble (PG) reported earnings and sales that
beat forecasts in its fiscal fourth quarter.
DirecTV (DTV) reported earnings
that fell short of forecasts pulling the stock down.
Sony (SNE) reported a 13 percent jump in
sales versus first quarter last year, with smartphone sales a heavy factor in
the growth. A weaker Yen also contributed to the revenue boost.
J C Penney (JCP) reversed its drop yesterday after releasing
a statement disputing reports that CIT Group, Inc. (CIT) had cut credit to some
of its suppliers over repayment concerns.
Yelp (YELP) shares jumped over
25% after reporting smaller-than-expected quarterly losses late Wednesday.