Closing Update: Most Stocks Close With Slim Gains, S&P 500 Hits A New Record High

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Led by gains in telecommunications and utilities, most major stock averages clawed their way back to the plus side, erasing losses to close higher for the fifth consecutive day. Despite President Obama's announcement this afternoon to send troops to Iraq, the rising cost of energy, and weakness in the retail sector, Wall Street pushed the S&P 500 to yet another record high of 1,959.

After Wednesday's impressive late-day rally in the wake of dovish comments from Fed Chair Yellen regarding U.S. interest rates, equities took a breather and floundered in the red afer the open despite upbeat economic data and strong earnings from Blackberry (BBRY, BB.TO), Kroger ( KR ) and Red Hat ( RHT ). Early attempts to recover were frustrated, but gradually led to a steady grind higher as investors shrugged off troop deployments to Iraq and more conflict in Ukraine.

Today's economic data failed to encourage Wall Street to extend its pre-market gains even with the Philly Fed Business Conditions Index hitting a 9-month high of 17.0, beating estimates for a small decline to 13.0 from April's unrevised 15.4.

Initial jobless claims declined a greater-than-expected 6,000 to 312,000, just below the consensus estimate of 313,000. Claims for the week ended June 7 were revised upward by 1,000 to 318,000.

Finally, leading economic indicators was not as strong as the street expected, but a 0.5% gain still implies continued economic expansion.

Here's where the markets stand at the close:

US MARKETS

Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 14 points (+0.1%) at 16,921

S&P 500 was up 2.5 (+0.1%) at 1,959

Nasdaq Composite Index was down 3 (-0.1%) at 4,359

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 was up 0.44%

Nikkei 225 was up 1.62%

Hang Seng Index was down 0.06%

Shanghai China Composite Index was down 1.55%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) BBRY, BB.TO Reported a narrower than expected loss

(+) ZFGN Well-received IPO priced at upper end of expected range

(+) SCOK Completes construction of eco-friendly facility

(+) STEM Positive data on HuCNS-SC

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) COCO Disclosed concerns about cash flow

(-) COH Lowered its FY14 sales forecast

(-) PIR Missed Q1 earnings estimates, reduced FY 2015 earnings target



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: KR , RHT

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As of 9/23/2014, 04:15 PM

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