Wall Street hits new records as tech stocks climb

Ivan Schwartz
September 18, 2017

The three major Wall Street indexes inched up to record highs on Friday, with the S&P approaching the 2,500 mark, as technology stocks bounced back after two days of declines.

Elsewhere, Centene rallied after the company said late on Tuesday that it has signed an agreement whereby Fidelis Care will become its health plan in the state of NY.

Economists expect industrial production to inch up by 0.1 percent in August after rising by 0.2 percent in July. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 22,268.34 for a gain of 64.86 points or 0.29%.

The Nasdaq composite outperformed, closing 0.3% higher at 6,448.47; it also managed to an intraday record of 6,464.27. (VZ) rose 1.4%, while 3M Co (MMM) added 0.9%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.7% and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China shed 0.6%.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.76-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.47-to-1 ratio favored advancers. Chipmaker Broadcom lost $1.71 to $244.53.

Yields on 10-year Treasuries topped 2.2 percent. Lattice accepted the $1.02 billion offer from Canyon Bridge Partners in November, but investors have always been skeptical the deal would be completed.

About 8.5 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges, above the 20-day average of 5.9 billion shares.

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Even after an attack on the London subway during the morning rush hour and data showing a big hurricane impact on U.S. economic activity, Wall Street investors were determined to push prices higher. Canyon Bridge agreed to pay $8.30 a share.

Retail sales in August fell 0.2 percent, from the previous month, to $478.8 billion in August, the U.S. Commerce Department announced earlier. The increase in August came because gas and housing costs rose. Losses were capped when weaker-than-expected USA retail sales renewed doubts the Federal Reserve will raise rates in December. Interest rates also rose, which helped banks, as they stand to make more money from lending. Wednesday afternoon, CEO Dennis Muilenberg said the company expects to start delivering more planes. Forward Management LLC acquired a new position in SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF in the 2nd quarter worth about $50,291,000. A stronger pound would hurt the earnings of British companies that do a lot of business overseas.

US gold futures fell 0.16 percent to $1,327.20 an ounce. The index settled up 0.2% at 2,500.23.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 0.1 percent to 19,835.30 but South Korea's Kospi lost 0.4 percent to 2,369.32. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, shed 35 cents to $55.12 barrel in London.

BONDS: Bond prices declined. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1967 compared to yesterday's $1.1919.

The pound surged to $1.3571 from $1.3398, its highest since mid-2016.

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