S&P 500 reaches another record high as technology, health care shares rally - The Buffalo News

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S&P 500 reaches another record high as technology, health care shares rally

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose to an all-time high, as Apple Inc. boosted technology companies, and health care shares rallied amid earnings. Boeing Co.’s results dragged the Dow Jones industrial average lower.

Apple surged to the highest since 2012 after signaling the wait for new products is nearing an end. Biogen Idec Inc. rallied 11 percent after raising its full-year forecast, while Intuitive Surgical Inc. jumped 18 percent as results topped estimates.

Boeing sank 2.3 percent as a cost for a tanker rekindled concern the plane maker would struggle with a new aircraft program. Facebook Inc. rose 0.8 percent in late trading after reporting profit that topped estimates.

The S&P 500 added 0.2 percent to a record 1,987.19. The Dow slipped 25.63 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,087.91. Boeing is the sixth-largest component of the Dow by weighting at 4.8 percent.

“The general tone of earnings has been positive not just on the bottom line but also top-line, and we’ve seen inflation numbers that gave comfort to those who believe the market will be supported by the Fed,” Russ Koesterich, chief investment strategist at New York-based BlackRock Inc., said via phone.

The IMF cut its U.S. growth forecast for this year to 1.7 percent from 2 percent predicted in June, citing a first-quarter contraction.

The S&P 500 has advanced 7.5 percent this year amid better-than-estimated corporate earnings and central bank stimulus, as the U.S. economy shows signs of recovering from a 2.9 percent contraction in the first quarter. The gauge trades at 18.4 times the reporting earnings of its members, the highest since 2010.

“There may be some times when the geopolitical landscape hogs the spotlight, but it’s always about earnings, and they’re coming in better than expected,” said Karyn Cavanaugh, senior market strategist at New York-based Voya Investment Management LLC. Voya oversees about $220 billion. “People say we’re at all-time highs and that we have to come down, but we’re not out of the ball park with valuations yet.”

Intuitive Surgical rallied 18 percent, the biggest gain in the index and its steepest rise in five years. The maker of robotics used in surgeries reported profit that surpassed analysts’ estimates.

Biogen Idec jumped 11 percent. The world’s biggest maker of multiple sclerosis drugs raised its 2014 profit forecast after quarterly results beat forecasts.

Puma Biotechnology Inc. surged 295 percent. The company said a clinical trial of its experimental drug blocked the return of breast cancer in women with a type of early-stage disease.

Apple added 2.6 percent to $97.19, the highest since September 2012. The company stoked anticipation for new devices on a conference call, with Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook talking about an “incredible pipeline” that “we can’t wait to show you.”

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