News Column

S&P 500 continues its climbs to a record

February 25, 2014

As the U.S stock market closed we watch the S&P 500 rose to a record, erasing this year's drop, as health-care providers jumped on a smaller-than-forecast cut in Medicare rates and EBay Inc. advanced and also buoyed by positive news out of Europe, and prospects of an assistance package for Ukraine. Investors have been digesting mixed reports of company earnings and economic data in recent weeks, sending major stock indexes fluctuating for much of this year. With no major economic reports due Monday, investors will be looking ahead to Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen`s testimony before Congress on Thursday, and data on consumer confidence, new-home sales, durable-goods orders, jobless claims and a second read on fourth-quarter economic growth later this week. Sentiment is perhaps also supported by hopes that the worst of the violence in Ukraine might be over – though investors focus has now turned to the financial ramifications of the turmoil. Yields on Ukraine government bonds fell sharply on expectations that the European Union and other authorities will offer a financial assistance package. In addition, Spanish government-bond yields declined and stocks rose after ratings firm Moody`s Investors Service upgraded the country`s sovereign credit rating by one notch late Friday. European markets were near flat. The Stoxx Europe 600 was nearly unchanged, paring earlier losses of as much as 0.4%. The index closed Friday at the highest level seen since Jan. 14, 2008. The IFO institute`s German business confidence index rose to 111.3 in February from 110.6 in January, the highest level since July 2011 and well above expectations of 110.5. U.S. Bond prices rose slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged down to 2.73 percent from 2.74 percent Friday. -The S&P 500 Index rose 0.62% to 1847.65 -The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.64% to 16207.14 -The NASDAQ Composite rose 0.69% to 4292.97 . As of 16:16 p.m. ET Corporate earnings Jos. A Bank rose 7 percent after Men`s Wearhouse said it was stepping up its pursuit of the clothing retailer. Men`s Wearhouse also rose 7 percent. RF Micro Devices surged 15 percent after the chip maker said it was combining with TriQuint Semiconductor. TriQuint soared 19 percent. In corporate news, Netflix advanced after The Wall Street Journal reported that the company agreed to pay Comcast to get direct access to the cable company`s broadband network to ensure Netflix movies and television shows stream smoothly. Comcast`s stock also gained .

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Source: Financial Markets

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