* Putin strikes conciliatory tone on Ukraine
* Berkshire Hathaway stock tops $200,000 for the first time
* Dow up 0.4 pct; S&P 500 up 0.4 pct; Nasdaq up 0.4 pct
(Updates to close)
By Akane Otani
NEW YORK, Aug 14 U.S. stocks advanced on
Thursday after conciliatory comments from Russia helped ease
concerns about escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and offset
some uninspiring earnings.
Gains were broad, with all but one of the S&P's 10 primary
sector indexes rising for the day. An S&P index of healthcare
stocks gained 1.2 percent and led the advance, while an
index of energy stocks dragged, slipping 0.5 percent.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia would stand up
for itself but not at the cost of confrontation with the outside
world, striking a softer tone after tough rhetoric aimed at
Ukraine for several months. The market had been
pressured in recent weeks by uncertainty over the conflict.
Earnings season continued to wind down, with 92 percent of
S&P 500 companies having reported quarterly earnings by Thursday
morning. Of the companies that have reported results so far,
67.7 percent beat analysts' expectations.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the nation's largest retailer,
reported earnings and revenue that met expectations. But the
company cut its forecast for coming quarters. The Dow
component's stock rose 0.5 percent to $74.39.
Shares of Cisco Systems Inc, another Dow component,
fell 2.6 percent to $24.54. The network equipment maker gave a
tepid outlook for its current quarter and announced massive job
cuts despite reporting revenue that beat expectations.
The stock market has looked past flaring tensions abroad to
rally for an extended period, with the S&P 500 marking more than
1,000 days since its last correction, which Wall Street defines
as a drop of 10 percent from the most recent high.
"In October, the Fed is going to get away from money
printing, and since we haven't had a correction in a long time,
it could undermine things very quickly once people realize
growth isn't in line with their expectations," said Jeff Duncan,
president of Duncan Financial Management in Sunset Hills,
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 61.78 points,
or 0.37 percent, to close at 16,713.58. The S&P 500
gained 8.46 points, or 0.43 percent, to finish at 1,955.18. The
Nasdaq Composite added 18.88 points, or 0.43 percent, to
end at 4,453.00.
Shares of Boeing Co shot up 1.7 percent to $124.11,
making it the Dow's second-biggest gainer. The company said
demand for its commercial jetliners was very strong and signaled
it is getting close to deciding whether to further accelerate
The price of Berkshire Hathaway Inc's Class A stock
crossed $200,000 for the first time on Thursday in the latest
milestone for the company that Warren Buffett built over nearly
five decades. Berkshire Hathaway closed at
$202,850, up 1.8 percent on the New York Stock Exchange.
After the bell, shares of Nordstrom Inc slid 1.7
percent. The upscale department store chain, known for its
selection of fashion labels and customer service, reported
second-quarter earnings in line with expectations and a 3
percent increase in same-store sales.
JC Penney Co Inc shares initially rose 7 percent to
$10.40 in extended-hours trading before falling to unchanged
from the NYSE close at $9.74. After the bell, the department
store chain reported quarterly sales rose 5 percent while its
quarterly loss narrowed to 56 cents per share.
Shares of Monster Beverage Corp soared 30 percent to
$71.65 in extended-hours trading on news that the energy drink
maker entered a long term partnership with Coca-Cola Co.
During the regular session, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
had its worst trading day since November 2006. The
burger chain reported quarterly earnings and revenue sharply
below expectations, sending its stock tumbling 18.5 percent to
About 4.7 billion shares traded on all U.S. platforms,
according to BATS exchange data, compared with the five-day
average of 5.4 billion.
(Editing by Nick Zieminski and Jan Paschal)