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S&P 500, Dow on 6-Week Winning Streak  10/20 16:34

   Wall Street capped a week with no shortage of milestones with a few more 
Friday.

   Wall Street capped a week with no shortage of milestones with a few more 
Friday.

   U.S. stocks closed modestly higher, lifting the Standard & Poor's 500 index 
to its fifth record close in a row. The Dow Jones industrial average, which 
crossed past the 23,000 mark for the first time on Wednesday, also finished the 
day with its fifth-straight all-time high.

   Banks led the gainers Friday. Technology companies also posted big gains, 
helping to drive the Nasdaq composite to a record high.

   The latest milestones came as investors drew encouragement from the Senate's 
passage of a budget bill that is expected to ease the path for the White 
House's tax cut proposal.

   "Market expectations for an impactful tax reform have been running fairly 
low," said Mike Baele, managing director at U.S. Bank Private Wealth 
Management. "That changed a bit today with the Senate passing the budget 
resolution for 2018."

   The S&P 500 index rose 13.11 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,575.21. The Dow 
gained 165.59 points, or 0.7 percent, to 23,328.63. The Nasdaq composite added 
23.99 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,629.05. The Russell 2000 index of 
smaller-company stocks picked up 7.20 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,509.25.

   The S&P 500 and the Dow are now on a six-week winning streak. 

   President Donald Trump's plans to slash corporate taxes and make other 
business-friendly changes to the nation's tax laws have helped lift U.S. stocks 
in recent weeks. Under the administration's tax plan, the first major overhaul 
of the tax code in three decades, corporations would see their top tax rate cut 
from 35 percent to 20 percent.

   On Thursday, the Senate narrowly passed a $4 trillion budget resolution that 
now goes to the House of Representatives. The bill sets the stage for tax 
legislation later this year that could pass through the Senate without the 
threat of a filibuster by Democrats. It also adds $1.5 trillion to the deficit 
over the next 10 years.

   Should tax reform pass, it's also a good bet that interest rates will move 
higher, which will benefit banks and other financial companies. That's one 
reason banks and bond yields rose Friday.

   Higher bond yields allow banks to charge higher interest rates on mortgages 
and other loans. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.38 percent 
from 2.32 percent late Thursday.

   Synchrony Financial gained $1.33, or 4.2 percent, to $33.04. Citizens 
Financial Group picked up 90 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $38.33. Both also 
reported higher quarterly earnings than analysts had been expecting.

   Technology sector companies also had a good day. 

   PayPal Holdings climbed 5.5 percent after the payment technology company 
reported big gains in new users and transactions. The stock rose $3.72 to 
$70.97.

   While still early in the third-quarter earnings season, strong earnings 
helped push the market higher this week.

   Just under 12 percent of S&P 500 companies have released quarterly results 
through Friday. Of those, 78 percent reported earnings and revenue that beat 
financial analysts' estimates, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

   "Companies have been able to, once again, beat expectations up to this 
point," said Baele. "The combination of strong economic data, good earnings and 
now the prospect of fiscal stimulus is really helping to support equities."

   Shares in several companies made big moves Friday after traders reviewed 
their latest quarterly results.

   Skechers USA soared 41.4 percent after the shoe company said that its profit 
and sales were stronger than analysts expected. The stock rose $9.96 to $33.99.

   Atlassian jumped $9.92, or 24.6 percent, to $50.17. The business software 
company's earnings and revenue beat Wall Street's forecasts. It also raised its 
forecast.

   Semiconductor company Maxim Integrated also posted better-than-expected 
results. Its stock rose $2, or 4 percent, to $52.09.

   General Electric bounced back after the industrial conglomerate slashed its 
annual forecast and reported a disappointing third quarter. The stock gained 25 
cents, or 1.1 percent, to $23.83.

   Other companies put traders in a selling mood with their latest quarterly 
results or outlooks didn't recover. NCR gave up 10.8 percent after the company 
cut its annual revenue forecast and said orders for ATMs were weaker than it 
expected. Its shares lost $4 to $33.05.

   Oil prices closed higher after wavering between small gains and losses for 
much of the day.

   Benchmark U.S. crude added 18 cents to settle at $51.47 a barrel on the New 
York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 
52 cents to $57.75 a barrel in London.

   The gains helped lift most of the energy companies in the S&P 500. Helmerich 
& Payne climbed $1.06, or 2.1 percent, to $52.

   In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline rose 3 cents to $1.68 a gallon. 
Heating oil picked up 3 cents to $1.81 a gallon. Natural gas gained 4 cents to 
$2.92 per 1,000 cubic feet.

   Gold fell $9.50 to $1,280.50 an ounce. Silver lost 18 cents to $17.09 an 
ounce. Copper was little changed at $3.17 a pound.

   The dollar strengthened to 113.50 yen from 112.65 yen on Thursday. The euro 
fell to $1.1780 from $1.1830.

   Major stock indexes overseas were mixed Friday. 

   In Europe, Germany's DAX and the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares 
finished flat. The CAC 40 in France added 0.1 percent. In Asia, Japan's 
benchmark Nikkei 225 finished less than 0.1 percent higher ahead of 
parliamentary elections on Sunday. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's party is 
expected to retain a comfortable lead.

   Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi added 0.7 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang 
Seng index rebounded 1.2 percent after a big sell-off the day before. 


(BE)

 
 
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