Sunday 17 December 2017

S&P 500 hits intra-day record on stellar results

IBM has snapped up an Irish firm
IBM has snapped up an Irish firm

Paul Dobson and Alex Barinka

THE benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 Index hit an intra-day record yesterday, following better-than-forecast earnings from many companies with big operations in Ireland and positive data on US jobless claims.

It added 0.9pc to touch 1,691.54 in New York, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rallied 1.5pc to reach the highest closing level since May.

The dollar strengthened against 15 of 16 major peers, while the yen weakened amid bets that Group of 20 finance officials would endorse Japan's monetary easing.

S&P 500 shares were lifted by US government data which showed that jobless claims declined by 24,000 to 334,000 last week.

Stocks then extended gains as the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's general economic index surged to a two-year high.

Among US stocks moving in early trading, IBM climbed 2.4pc as the biggest computer-services company raised its annual forecast. UnitedHealth jumped 5.7pc.

Intel slid 3.6pc after the largest maker of emi-conductors released sales forecasts that fell short of some estimates.


Of the 82 index members that have released earnings so far this month, three-quarters have topped analysts' profit projections and half have beaten on sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Thirty-two companies in the S&P 500 reported earnings yesterday.

Europe also had a good day, with four shares rising for each that declined in the Stoxx 600.

Ericsson fell 4.8pc after second-quarter sales missed estimates. Akzo Nobel slid 8pc, the most since 2008, as Europe's largest paintmaker reported declining earnings and sales.

Publicis Groupe SA, the world's third-biggest advertising company, climbed 3.4pc in Paris trading as first-half profits rose 15pc. WPP, the biggest advertising company, advanced 3.6pc. (Bloomberg)

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