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

 

Housing: Affordability Drops 14%, Driven By Auckland Prices

Housing affordability across New Zealand fell 14 percent in the year ending November 2014, with Auckland’s lack of affordability set to reach levels it hit during the height of the global financial crisis, according to the latest Massey University Home Affordability Report More>>

ALSO:

The Dry: Fonterra Drops Forecast Milk Volumes By 3.3 Percent

Fonterra Cooperative Group, the worlds largest dairy exporter, reduced its milk volume forecast for the 2014-2015 season by 3.3 per cent due to the impact of dry weather on production in recent weeks. More>>

ALSO:

Strike: Lyttelton Port Workers Vote To Escalate Dispute

Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) at Lyttelton Port today voted to escalate their industrial action. Around 200 RMTU members have been operating an overtime ban since 17 December and today they endorsed a series of full withdrawals of labour at the port. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Falls To 3-Year Low As Investors Favour Greenback

The New Zealand dollar fell to its lowest in more than three years as investors sold euro and bought US dollars, weakening other currencies against the greenback. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Govt Operating Deficit Smaller Than Expected

The New Zealand’s government’s operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first five months of the financial year as a clampdown on expenditure managed to offset a shortfall in the tax-take from last month’s forecast. More>>

ALSO:

0.8 Percent Annually:
NZ Inflation Falls Below RBNZ's Target

New Zealand's annual pace of inflation slowed to below the Reserve Bank's target band in the final three months of the year, giving governor Graeme Wheeler more room to keep the benchmark interest rate lower for longer.More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

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