* FedEx, J.C. Penney gain on hedge fund stakes
* NY factory index falls in Nov to weakest since May -NY Fed
* Twitter options begin trading
* Indexes up: Dow 0.3 pct; S&P 0.3 pct; Nasdaq 0.2 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, Nov 15 The Dow and the S&P 500 climbed
to fresh highs on Friday in the wake of reassuring remarks by
Federal Reserve chair nominee Janet Yellen that the central
bank's accommodative policies would continue.
Still, the advance was limited, with both indexes on track
for a sixth consecutive week of gains and the S&P 500 just five
points away from 1,800, its next level of potential resistance.
The Nasdaq 100 index was near a 13-year high.
"The market is starting to price in improved economic
growth, improved earnings and slowly getting over worries about
the what the Fed might do," said Tim Ghriskey, who helps manage
more than $1.5 billion as chief investment officer of Solaris
Asset Management LLC.
Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp led the blue chip Dow
index higher. The stock rose 1.2 percent to $94.35 a day after
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc
disclosed a new $3.45 billion stake in the world's largest
publicly traded oil company.
J.C. Penney Co shares rose 6.2 percent to $9.23
after a number of hedge funds, including Highfields Capital,
Jana Partners and Farallon Capital Management Group took
positions in the ailing department store operator, and Glenview
Capital, already a big owner, added to its holdings.
FedEx Corp shares added 2 percent to $139.12 after
regulatory filings showed funds including Daniel Loeb's Third
Point LLC, George Soros' Soros Fund Management LLC and John
Paulson's hedge fund, Paulson & Co all took stakes in the
A divergence continued between large-cap and mid- and
small-cap stocks, which are seen as riskier because they exhibit
greater sensitivity to macroeconomic factors. The Russell 2000
index of small- and mid-cap stocks was flat at 1,111.37.
"Going forward, I'm keeping an eye on the 1,120 area on the
Russell 2000, as small-cap leadership would be a good sign for
risk appetite," said Bryan Sapp, senior trading analyst at
Schaefer's Investment Research in Cincinnati.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 50.66 points,
or 0.32 percent, at 15,926.88. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 3.56 points, or 0.20 percent, at 1,794.18. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 6.64 points, or 0.17
percent, at 3,979.38.
Following Twitter 's trading debut on the New York
Stock Exchange on Nov. 7, options market makers began pricing
and trading contracts Friday to buy or sell Twitter shares at
various prices in the future.
Data showed New York state's manufacturing sector
unexpectedly shrank this month while U.S. industrial production
fell in October as output at power plants and mines
declined. The market barely
reacted to the reports.