After investors assessed a series of company earnings reports, the latest move from the Federal Reserve and an unexpectedly weak reading on first quarter economic growth, the stock market ended with its third straight day of gains.
Stocks started the day lower after the government reported that the U.S. economy stalled in the first three months of the year as winter storms chilled business activity.
The market's reaction to the report was muted because most investors expect the slowdown to be temporary as growth rebounds with warmer temperatures.
"Most people, including us, expected March to have been the strongest month of the first quarter" and that growth will continue to pick up, said
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 5.62 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 1,883.95. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 45.47 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 16,580.84, four points above its previous record set
The Nasdaq composite rose 11.01 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 4,114.56.
Some solid earnings reports and corporate deal news helped offset the weak economic report, and by midday stocks had eked out small gains.
The company's stock rose
More than 60 per cent of S&P 500 companies have reported first-quarter earnings. Analysts currently expect earnings to grow by 1.7 per cent in the period, according to S&P Capital IQ data. That compares with growth of almost 8 per cent in the fourth quarter and 5.2 per cent in the same period a year ago.
Stocks climbed higher in afternoon trading after the Federal Reserve's statement following its April policy meeting was in line with investor's expectations.
The Fed said Wednesday it would reduce its monthly bond purchases by another
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.65 per cent from 2.70 per cent on Tuesday. The yield on the note has fallen from 3 per cent at the start of the year.
As bond yields remain close to historical lows, stocks will likely remain attractive to investors, said
"What else are you supposed to do with your money?" said Kelly. "For lack of something better to do with it, money is going to move back into equities."
Among other stocks making big moves:
Most Popular Stories
- Stop-Start Engines Save Gas, Reduce Emissions
- Shia LaBeouf Plea Deal, Alcoholism Treatment
- Ohio State Band Chief Fired After Probe
- Hispanic Leader Goes the Extra Mile
- World Tensions Don't Curb Enthusiasm for Stocks
- U.K. Economy Surpasses Pre-Crisis Peak
- Morgan Stanley Ponies Up $275 Million to Settle SEC Charges
- Ricky Martin Joins 'The Voice ... Mexico'
- Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull to Perform at Fashion Rocks
- Visa, Amazon Results Drag Down the Street