U.S. Stocks Climb; Dow Notches All-Time Intraday High
--Stocks rise, pushing Dow industrials to all-time high
--Data show service-sector activity expanding at faster pace
--Upbeat European data boosts markets there
By Matt Jarzemsky
The Dow Jones Industrial Average powered to a record high, extending a resilient 2013 and closing a chapter in its
recovery from the financial crisis.
"It really does represent an achievement that we have climbed out of this crater," said Jack Ablin, chief investment
officer at Chicago'sBMO Private Bank, which manages about $66 billion.
The Dow rose 137 points, or 1%, to 14265 in midafternoon trading, after notching an all-time intraday high. Blue chips
were on pace to exceed their record closing level, 14164.53 in October 2007, after more than doubling from a low of
6547.05 in March 2009.
The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose 15 points, or 1%, to 1540. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 38 points, or
1.2%, to 3220.
During the lows of 2009 "there was just this amazing fear of losing money, just this fear in people's eyes," said Erik
Davidson, deputy chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Private Bank, which oversees about $170 billion in assets. But
things have changed since, he said. "Between fear and greed, there's a stutter-step emotion: regret. That's what people
are feeling now. They're kicking themselves for getting so scared."
American Express added 2.3%, leading gains across 27 of the 30 Dow stocks. Technology, industrial and financial shares
in the S&P 500, sectors especially tied to global growth, led gains across all 10 of the index's groups.
Economic stabilization, recovery in corporate profits and efforts by the Federal Reserve and other central banks have
juiced stocks' multiyear rally. Bulls also argue equities remain cheap, relative to companies' earnings, and that low
bond yields will force more investors to buy companies' shares.
Skeptics point to a slowing earnings outlook and potential tax and spending headwinds as lawmakers sort out the U.S.'s
Traders on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor described the session as fairly typical. Some stepped back from
their computer monitors to reminisce about 2007, when they said the mood was more electric as the blue chips hit new
highs. They said the sluggish pace of economic recovery--and a sharply lower level of activity on the stock-exchange
floor--made celebrations harder to come by these days.
"There's definitely more caution in the air this time," said Mark Otto, a Knight Capital Group director based on the
floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Still, he said, "the momentum is to the upside."
On the economic front, the nonmanufacturing sector expanded at a faster pace in February than a month earlier, bucking
economists' forecasts for it to slow, according to the Institute for Supply Management.
"It's a good fundamental signal, on top of a good manufacturing reading that we had on Friday," said Doug Cote, chief
market strategist at ING Investment Management, which oversees $179 billion in assets. "This market has really been
hanging on central-bank stimulus from around the world, and it is encouraging to see some true fundamentals come out
European markets were broadly higher, with the Stoxx Europe 600 up 1.8%. Euro-zone retail sales rose more than
expected in January, according to Eurostat. Markit's February composite purchasing managers index for the region was
Asian markets bounced from the previous session's sharp declines. China's Shanghai Composite, which tumbled 3.7% on
Monday after the introduction of new measures to cool the country's property market, climbed 2.3%. Outgoing Premier Wen
Jiabao helped reassure investors as he kicked off the annual session of the National People's Congress by announcing an
economic growth target of 7.5% for 2013, as expected.
Elsewhere, Australia's S&P ASX 200 gained 1.3% after stronger-than-expected retail-sales data and Japan's Nikkei Stock
Average added 0.3% to close at a fresh 4½-year high.
Front-month April crude-oil futures added 0.8% to $90.83 a barrel, while March gold futures advanced 0.2% to $1,575.40
an ounce. The dollar eased slightly against both the euro and the yen.
J.C. Penney slid 9.4%, the biggest decline among S&P 500 components, after reports that commercial landlord Vornado
Realty Trust looked to sell 10 million shares, or more than 40% of its holdings in the department-store chain.
Ascena Retail Group climbed 13% after the operator of Dressbarn, Justice and Maurices stores reported a smaller-than-
expected decline in earnings.
Qualcomm gained 2% after the semiconductor maker raised its dividend by 40% and announced a $5 billion stock
Impax Laboratories slid 25% after saying Food and Drug Administration inspectors have found continuing problems at its
Hayward, Calif., manufacturing facility that may affect new and pending drug applications.
Santarus surged 13% after the biopharmaceutical company reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that topped
analyst expectations and affirmed its 2013 outlook.
Williams Partners fell 3.5% after the natural-gas transportation company announced an equity sale.
Professional Diversity Network fell 3.5% after the professional-networking website operator's initial public offering
on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
--Alexandra Scaggs contributed to this article.
-Write to Matt Jarzemsky at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
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