CLOSING BELL: August 9: DJIA: 13,165.19 | DOWN 10.45 | -0.08%
OIL: $93.36, UP .01, +0.01%
GOLD: $1,620.20, UP 4.20, +0.26%
GASOLINE (US Avg): $3.662, UP .015
Ryan Vlastelica, Reuters – The Standard & Poor’s 500 extended its rally to a fifth day on Thursday, again eking out a tiny gain as lingering expectations for economic stimulus from central banks lent support to a market lacking new catalysts.
While the S&P 500 has chalked up three-month highs every day this week, the index has climbed only 0.6 percent over the past three sessions – an indication that investors aren’t prepared to make aggressive bets despite better-than-expected jobless claims and U.S. trade data.
The Nasdaq outperformed the other two major U.S. stock indexes, led by Cisco Systems Inc after Goldman Sachs added the company to its conviction buy list and Piper Jaffray upgraded it to “overweight.” Cisco rose 3.2 percent to $17.70 and was the Dow’s biggest percentage gainer.
Material stocks also advanced after James River Coal Co said the market for power-generating coal was showing signs of a recovery following massive industry-wide cutbacks in production. The stock surged 13 percent to $2.52 while peer company Arch Coal Inc jumped 7.1 percent to $7.42. An S&P materials index rose 0.5 percent.
The three major U.S. stock indexes seesawed throughout the morning, with the S&P 500 mostly hovering above 1,400 in light trade as investors bet central banks would soon act to support a global recovery that has shown signs of stalling.
“It’s almost eerie how flat the market has been. But while there’s a risk of our becoming overbought, I don’t see why we’d see a decline of any magnitude until we hear what central banks will do,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.
The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 10.45 points, or 0.08 percent, to 13,165.19 at the close. But the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index inched up 0.58 of a point, or 0.04 percent, to 1,402.80. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 7.39 points, or 0.25 percent, to close at 3,018.64.
Markets held on despite a raft of weak Chinese economic data. Annual growth in factory output slowed to its lowest in more than three years in July while annual consumer price inflation hit a 30-month low.
“This news is disappointing, but it only emboldens investors that we’ll be rescued by central banks somewhere,” said Luschini, who helps oversee $54 billion in assets.
Read the rest of this article at Reuters here.
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