* Amazon and Microsoft rally after results
* UPS sees boost in holiday volume, stock hits record
* Major indexes post gains for the week
* Indexes up: Dow 0.4 pct, S&P 0.4 pct, Nasdaq 0.4 pct
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Oct 25 The S&P 500 ended at another
record high on Friday, boosted by gains in technology shares
after strong results from Microsoft and Amazon.com.
They were the latest to offer some upbeat news on the
earnings season, which has been mixed overall, especially on the
revenue side where the percentage of companies beating analysts'
expectations has been below the long-term average.
Microsoft gave the biggest boost to all three major
indexes, while Amazon.com also helped the S&P 500 and
Nasdaq. Microsoft shares jumped 6 percent at $35.73, a day after
it reported profit and revenue above analysts' expectations.
Amazon.com shares rose as high as $368.40, a record, after
the online retailer reported stronger-than-expected sales
growth. Shares ended up 9.4 percent at $363.39.
The S&P 500 technology index rose 0.4 percent.
The market has risen following last week's legislation to
avoid a U.S. debt default and end a partial government shutdown,
as well as increased speculation the Federal Reserve will delay
scaling back its stimulus for several months. The S&P 500 had
hit record finishes for four sessions until Wednesday.
"It seems like good news is being responded to very well and
bad news is just seen as more evidence the Fed won't be able to
tighten anytime soon," said Rick Meckler, president of
LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.
The S&P 500 is up 23.4 percent so far this year, just shy of
the 23.5 percent gain it posted in 2009. Surpassing the 2009
record would give the index its biggest annual gain in a decade.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 61.07 points,
or 0.39 percent, at 15,570.28. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
ended up 7.7 points, or 0.44 percent, at 1,759.77, and
hit an intraday record high of 1,759.82 late in the session.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 14.40 points, or
0.37 percent, at 3,943.36.
Indexes also posted gains for the week. The Dow rose 1.1
percent, the S&P 500 gained 0.9 percent and Nasdaq 0.7 percent.
The Russell 2000 index of small cap stocks registered its
eighth week of gains, its longest streak since 2003.
Based on results so far and estimates for companies still to
report, S&P 500 earnings are expected to have risen just 3.4
percent in the third quarter, with 69 percent of companies
reporting earnings above analysts' expectations. Revenue growth
is seen at 2.2 percent for the quarter, with just 54.2 percent
beating sales estimates, below the long-term average of 61
percent, Thomson Reuters data showed.
Among other earnings, United Parcel Service's stock
hit a record at $96.94 after the company posted a bigger
quarterly profit and said it expects online sales to boost
holiday volume. Shares ended up 1.2 percent at $95.61.
Also, Zynga late Thursday said it expects a
full-year profit after reporting better-than-expected
third-quarter results. Shares jumped 5.5 percent to $3.729.
Dow component DuPont jumped to the highest in more
than 13 years, a day after announcing it will spin off its
titanium dioxide unit within 18 months. Shares rose 0.8 percent
The day's economic data overall pointed to more signs that
the recent budget battle in Washington has held back the
New orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods outside
of transportation equipment fell in September, possibly due to
uncertainty over government spending. U.S.
consumer sentiment dropped in October to its lowest level since
the end of last year as consumers worried congressional