Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


While you were sleeping: S&P 500 rallies to record

While you were sleeping: S&P 500 rallies to record

Feb 25 (BusinessDesk) – Wall Street gained, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rising to a record high, as investors bet that the outlook for economic growth and corporate profits justify valuations.

"People are recognising that while some economic data has been muted, there is still a lot of value in the market based on corporate cash positions and multiples," Matthew Keator, partner in the Keator Group, a wealth management firm in Lenox, Massachusetts, told Reuters.

Shares of Humana soared, last up 8.7 percent, after the company said planned government cuts to the Medicare Advantage programme will be less than previously expected. The cuts appeared to represent a funding decline of about 3.5 percent to 4 percent, less than the 6 percent to 7 percent Humana had expected, Reuters reported.

In afternoon trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.16 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 1.19 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 1.11 percent. The S&P 500 rose as high as a record 1,858.71

Gains in shares of UnitedHealth, last up 3 percent, and those of Exxon Mobil, last up 2.3 percent, propelled the Dow higher.

Also underpinning investors’ sentiment has been recent merger and acquisition activity.

“It’s a good thing that we’re seeing some deals. It’s good for companies to spend their money to consolidate the industry,” Andrea Williams, head of European equities at Royal London Asset Management, told Bloomberg News.

Meanwhile, Markit’s preliminary US services PMI business activity index fell to 52.7 in February, down from a four-month high of 56.7 in January. Still, companies remained optimistic.

“The unusually severe winter weather undoubtedly looks to have taken its toll on the economy in the first quarter," Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said in a statement. "However, companies clearly remained in expansion mode, with just over half of all firms expecting activity to rise over the coming year against just 3 percent expecting a decline."

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index finished the day with a 0.6 percent advance from the previous close. The UK’s FTSE 100 rose 0.4 percent, Germany’s DAX gained 0.5 percent, while France’s CAC 40 climbed 0.9 percent.

In Germany, the Ifo Institute’s business climate index increased to 111.3 in February, up from 110.6 a month earlier, a welcome surprise of better-than-expected sentiment in the euro-zone’s engine economy.

"February's German Ifo survey suggests that the economic recovery has continued to pick up some momentum in the early months of 2014," Jonathan Loynes, the chief European economist at Capital Economics, told Reuters.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Warming: Warming Signs From State Of Climate Report

Climate data from air, land, sea and ice in 2013 'reflect trends of a warming planet' -- says the latest State of the Climate report, launched by U.S. and New Zealand scientists. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Embrace Falling Home Affordability, Says NZIER

Despair over the inability to afford a house is misplaced and should be embraced as an opportunity to invest in more wealth-creating activity, says the principal economist at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Shamubeel Eaqub. More>>

Productivity Commission: NZ Regulation Not Keeping Pace

New Zealand regulators often have to work with out-of-date legislation, quality checks are under strain, and regulatory workers need better training and development. More>>

ALSO:

Callaghan Innovation: Investment To Help Deepen Innovation Reporting

Callaghan Innovation, the government’s high tech HQ for Kiwi business, is to help deepen New Zealand media coverage of the commercialisation of innovation through an arms-length partnership with independent business news service BusinessDesk. More>>

ALSO:

Tax Credits, Grants: Greens $1Bn R&D Plan

In the Party’s headline economic announcement, the Greens have launched their plan to build a smarter, more innovative economy which has as its centrepiece an additional $1 billion of government investment in research and development (R&D) above current spend, including tax breaks for business. More>>

ALSO:

Inflation: CPI Increases 0.3 Percent In June Quarter

The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in the June 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. This follows rises of 0.3 percent the March quarter and 0.1 percent in the December 2013 quarter. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Dairy Product Prices Drop To Lowest Since December 2012

Dairy product prices fell to the lowest level since December 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, paced by whole milk powder and anhydrous milk fat. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news