* S&P 500 breaks through intraday record shortly after open
* Dow pops above 14,800 to set a fresh intraday record high
* Tech shares among the day's leaders, JDS Uniphase rallies
* FOMC minutes released, ahead of schedule, at 9 a.m. EDT
* Indexes up: Dow 0.9 pct, S&P 1.2 pct, Nasdaq 1.8 pct
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, April 10 The S&P 500 rose to a
historic high on Wednesday as U.S. stocks advanced 1 percent in
a broad rally, with technology shares among the strongest of the
For the second day in a row, cyclical shares advanced as
investors bought into the sector, which has lagged other sectors
recently. As these groups are closely tied to the pace of
economic growth, many investors viewed the advance as a sign
that the rally has staying power.
The S&P 500 broke past its previous all-time intraday high
of 1,576.09, which was set on Oct. 11, 2007, rising as high as
1,587.80. The Dow hit yet another intraday milestone, rising as
high as 14,817.06.
"The path of least resistance for the market remains higher,
and despite some mixed economic data, investors are concluding
that stocks remain a better place to be than risk-free assets,"
said Jim McDonald, chief investment strategist at Chicago-based
Northern Trust Global Investments, which has about $760 billion
in assets under management.
Gains were broad, with all but two of the S&P's 10 primary
sectors up more than 1 percent. About three-fourths of stocks
traded on both the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq were
higher on the day.
Tech was the day's strongest group, with the S&P technology
sector up 1.8 percent. The group was lifted by strong
results at Adtran Inc, which jumped 12.6 percent to
$22.19 and boosted peer companies. JDS Uniphase Corp
added 5.7 percent to $14.11 while Juniper Networks Inc
rose 5.4 percent to $18.97.
Also boosting the sector was Facebook Inc, which
jumped 4.4 percent to $27.77.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 138.49
points, or 0.94 percent, at 14,811.95. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was up 18.53 points, or 1.18 percent, at 1,587.14.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 56.74 points, or 1.75
percent, at 3,294.60.
With the gains, the S&P is now up 11.3 percent on the year
while the Dow is up 13 percent.
The Federal Reserve unexpectedly released the minutes from
its most recent policy-setting meeting five hours early. The
minutes showed a few policymakers expected to taper the pace of
asset purchases by mid-year and end them later this year, while
several others expected to slow the pace a bit later and halt
the quantitative easing program by year-end.
Accommodative monetary policy from the Fed has been credited
with helping to boost equity prices, and uncertainty surrounding
the minutes briefly hit indexes in the premarket session, though
they subsequently recovered.
"The only way quantitative easing will be tapered off is if
the labor market shows noticeable improvement, and the most
recent data doesn't show that," said McDonald, referring to the
March payroll report, which was sharply under expectations.
"QE will only be taken away when we're in a self-sustaining
recovery. We're not there yet, which points to the Fed
continuing to stimulate the economy."
Among the 5 percent of S&P 500 companies that have reported
results so far, almost three-quarters have topped expectations,
according to Thomson Reuters data.
But quarterly profits are expected to grow just 1.5 percent
from a year ago, down from a January estimate of 4.3 percent.
The lowered expectations could make it easier for companies to
beat analysts' estimates and propel the market further.
Family Dollar Stores reported weaker-than-expected
profit on Wednesday. Its stock was up 0.1 percent at $59.87
after falling 2.6 percent to a session low of $58.27 earlier.
Hospital operator Health Management Associates Inc
cut its outlook for 2013 earnings and revenue, citing weak
patient-admission figures in the first quarter of the year. The
stock plummeted 18 percent to $10.27.