Dow ends at record again, S&P posts seventh straight gain

NEW YORK Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:28pm EDT

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange, March 11, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange, March 11, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street rose modestly on Monday, lifting the Dow to another record and giving the S&P 500 its seventh straight advance as early weakness enticed buyers. The gains briefly lifted the benchmark S&P 500 index to its highest intraday level since October 2007.

With the slight advance, U.S. stocks continued last week's rally with the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI ending at a record closing high, up 50.22 points, or 0.35 percent, at 14,447.29. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX rose 5.04 points, or 0.32 percent, to 1,556.22, just below its record closing high of 1,565.15 reached on October 9, 2007.

Earlier in the session the S&P 500 climbed as high as 1,556.27 - its highest intraday level since October 15, 2007.

The Dow has gained over 10 percent for the year, while the S&P 500 is up more than 9 percent.

The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC added 8.51 points, or 0.26 percent, to close at 3,252.87.

Meanwhile, Wall Street's "fear gauge" closed at its lowest level since February 2007, suggesting investors were not spooked by Monday's brief pullback, despite expectations by many investors that a correction may be looming. The CBOE Volatility Index .VIX, known as the VIX, dropped 8.2 percent to 11.56.

U.S. equities have rallied since the start of the year, helped by signs of improvement in the economy and the support of equities by the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program. These factors have contained recent pullbacks as investors have used them as a buying opportunity.

"These dips are consistently bought. There is definitely a soft floor for the market," said Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Capital in Jersey City, New Jersey.

"It's a QE bid," Kenny said, referring to the Fed's policy of keeping short-term interest rates near zero since late 2008. "Quite frankly, earnings have not disappointed to the point where it is has been disrupted, and there is nothing out there that seems to be getting in the way of this slow but very consistent and methodical drift higher in the market."

But volume was light, with about 5.39 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE MKT and Nasdaq, below the daily average of 6.47 billion, suggesting the rally may be losing steam.

Wall Street had traded slightly lower earlier in the day as Italy's credit downgrade and disappointing Chinese economic data gave investors a reason to pause.

Earlier in the session, the Dow reached another lifetime intraday high, rising as high as 14,448.06.

Boeing Co (BA.N) rose to $83.03, its highest level since May 2008, after the U.S. aircraft manufacturer said strong demand was prompting it to increase its production rates of commercial planes. The stock, which rose 2 percent to $82.94 at the close, was the Dow's biggest percentage gainer. Boeing also gave the biggest boost to the Dow in Monday's session.

The U.S.-listed shares of BlackBerry (BBRY.O) (BB.TO) surged 14.1 percent to $14.90 after AT&T (T.N) said it will start selling the company's new BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen smartphone in the United States on March 22.

Dell Inc DELL.O has agreed to give Carl Icahn a closer look at its books less than a week after the activist investor joined a growing chorus of opposition to founder Michael Dell's plan to take the world's No. 3 personal computer maker private. Dell shares gained 1.5 percent to $14.37, above the take-private offer price of $13.65.

Genworth Financial Inc (GNW.N) shares jumped 6.7 percent to $10.50 following a report by Barron's that the mortgage insurer's stock could almost double in the next year, boosted by gains in mortgage and healthcare pricing.

In contrast, Dick's Sporting Goods Inc (DKS.N) tumbled 10.8 percent to $45.11 after the retailer reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter results and gave a disappointing forecast.

Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,586 to 1,375, while on the Nasdaq, advancers beat decliners by 1,254 to 1,192.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jan Paschal and Diane Craft)

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Comments (8)
irisbrock wrote:
What is the real problem here? Pause for speculation?

Mar 11, 2013 8:28am EDT  --  Report as abuse
divinargant wrote:
Not to worry. No problems here. Bennie and the Ink Jets got you covered.

Mar 11, 2013 9:26am EDT  --  Report as abuse
jrj906202 wrote:
The Dollar is the common stock of the U.S. govt.So,it will take the hit,if our idiot voters make bad decisions.Since,they don’t have a clue,they will likely,continue to run the country into the ground.We need a smaller,less powerful govt,that idiot voters can’t use,to mess up the country.

Mar 11, 2013 11:43am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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California state worker Albert Jagow (L) goes over his retirement options with Calpers Retirement Program Specialist JeanAnn Kirkpatrick at the Calpers regional office in Sacramento, California October 21, 2009. Calpers, the largest U.S. public pension fund, manages retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million people, with assets comparable in value to the entire GDP of Israel. The Calpers investment portfolio had a historic drop in value, going from a peak of $250 billion in the fall of 2007 to $167 billion in March 2009, a loss of about a third during that period. It is now around $200 billion. REUTERS/Max Whittaker   (UNITED STATES) - RTXPWOZ

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