* McDonald's says full-year results to be 'challenged' by
* Newmont rallies as metal prices jump
* One-third of S&P 500 companies due to report this week
* Indexes up: Dow 0.1 pct; S&P 0.2 pct, Nasdaq 0.4 pct
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, July 22 The S&P 500 hit an intraday
record high on Monday, led by bank and healthcare stocks and
overcoming declines in consumer shares after McDonald's reported
Financials rose for the 10th day in the past 12,
with Bank of America leading the group. U.S.-listed
shares of UBS rose 3 percent to $19.19 after the Swiss
bank said its second-quarter profit beat forecasts despite a
charge to settle a U.S. lawsuit.
The S&P 500 is up more than 18 percent so far this year,
reflecting investors' attraction to equities. Recent data showed
funds that hold U.S. stocks gained $16.96 billion in the week
ended Wednesday, the most since June 2008.
"Investors do often chase rallies," said Peter Jankovskis,
co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments in Lisle,
Illinois. "It could be feeding on itself a little bit."
McDonald's, the world's largest restaurant chain,
reported weaker-than-expected net income and warned that
full-year results would be "challenged" in the face of falling
sales in Europe, its biggest market. Shares fell 2.5 percent to
$97.78, weighing on the blue-chip Dow index. S&P consumer
discretionary stocks fell 0.1 percent.
A rise in metal prices boosted materials shares, with
Newmont Mining up 6.2 percent to $30.47 to lead gains in
the S&P materials sector. Spot gold and 3-month
copper touched one-month highs as the U.S. dollar
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 13.69 points or
0.09 percent, to 15,557.43, the S&P 500 gained 4.06
points or 0.24 percent, to 1,696.15 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 13.15 points or 0.37 percent, to 3,600.76.
The PHLX housing sector index fell 0.8 percent after
an unexpected drop in U.S. home resales in June. The data also
gave support to bets that the Federal Reserve will extend its
rate of bond purchases to support the economy.
"Any type of softness in housing data puts expectations of a
Fed taper on the back burner," said Chad Morganlander, portfolio
manager at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co in Florham Park, New Jersey.
September is, however, still the most likely time for the
Fed to announce that it will trim its monthly bond purchases,
according to a Reuters poll.
Microsoft led technology stocks higher, up 1.2
percent to $31.77 after the software maker on Friday tumbled
11.4 percent following dismal results.
Of the 109 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported
earnings for the quarter, 64.2 percent have beaten analyst
expectations, while less than half have topped revenue
estimates, according to Thomson Reuters data.
About one-third of S&P 500 companies are expected to report
earnings this week, including Apple and entertainment
provider Netflix Inc.