Closing Update: Utilities, Consumer Staples Lead Markets Higher; Dow Ends at New Record

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Stocks ended mostly higher Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average finishing with a triple-digit advance and rising to a new all-time high today. All but five of the stocks in the blue-chips index ended in the black, led by big gains from Microsoft ( MSFT ) and UnitedHealth ( UNH ).

The S&P 500 also rose, although its rally stopped short of a record high. Shares of consumer staple and utility companies paced the advance for the broader S&P 500, with technology shares also rising as a group despite a slump today for Apple ( AAPL ).

But the Nasdaq Composite index finished in negative territory today following disappointing results from electric-car manufacturer Tesla Motors ( TSLA ) along with losses for social-networking stocks ahead of Twitter's ( TWTR ) expected pricing its initial public offering in tonight's after-market.

In economic data today, the Conference Board reported leading economic indicators rose 0.7% in September, the second month in a row the economic measure rose 0.7% over year-ago levels. It also narrowly beat market expectations, with experts polled by Bloomberg News expecting a 0.6%

Prior to tomorrow's market open for U.S. equities, central bankers in Europe and Great Britain have rate-setting meetings scheduled, with market consensus tipping toward both bodies leaving short-term rates unchanged. That has the euro and sterling firming against the dollar, also helping support a rise in dollar-denominated commodities.

Crude oil for December delivery settled $1.43 higher at $94.80 per barrel, aided by a smaller-than-expected rise in inventories last week. The December natural gas contract added 3 cents to finish at $3.50 per 1 million BTU. December gold was up $9.30 to $1,317.40 per ounce while December silver climbed 12 cents to $21.76 per ounce. Copper was an outlier today, with the December contract slipping 2 cents to to $3.24 per pound.

Here's where the markets stood at end-of-day:

Dow Jones Industrial Average up 128.66 (+0.82%) to 15,746.88

S&P 500 up 7.52 (+0.43%) to 1,770.49

Nasdaq Composite Index down 7.92 (-0.20%) to 3,931.95

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Hang Seng Index down 0.01%

Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.82%

FTSE 100 Index down 0.08%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) MSPD, Chip-maker agrees to $272 mln buyout offer from M/A-COM Tech ( MTSI ), receiving $5.05 per share in cash. MTSI also rose, saying it expects the deal will add $0.15 to $0.20 per share to FY14 non-GAAP earnings and $0.25 to $0.30 per share in FY15.

(+) OXGN, Said its Zybrestat drug candidate showed statistically significant differences between the treatment and control arms in pre-clinical testing using a model of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

(+) ININ, Enterprise software firm reports non-GAAP Q3 net earnings of $0.20 per share, handily beating the Capital IQ consensus by $0.18 per share. Revenue rises 32% year over year to $78 million, also exceeding the Street view by $4.78 million.



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: AAPL , MSFT , MTSI , TSLA , UNH

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