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.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Postnatal Depression: 'The Thief That Steals Motherhood' - Alison McCulloch

Post-natal depression is a sly and cruel illness, described by one expert as ‘the thief that steals motherhood’, it creeps up on its victims, hiding behind the stress and exhaustion of being a new parent, catching many women unaware and unprepared. More>>


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Health: New Zealand's First ‘No Sugary Drinks’ Logo Unveiled

New Zealand’s first “no sugary drinks logo” has been unveiled at an event in Wellington... It will empower communities around New Zealand to lift their health and wellbeing and send a clear message about the damage caused by too much sugar in our diets. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news