S&P 500 pushes further into record territory


NEW YORK (AP) — The Standard & Poor’s 500 index
marched further into record territory Friday, as investors focused on
surprisingly strong growth in Midwestern manufacturing.
SCORE: The S&P 500 rose 11 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,866 as of
1:45 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 106
points, or 0.7 percent, to 16,378 and the Nasdaq composite rose 10
points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,329.
EARNINGS JOLT: Monster Beverage
jumped 5 percent, the most in the S&P 500 index, after the company
reported higher sales of its energy drinks in the fourth quarter. The
gains came despite legal attacks alleging the company’s products pose
health risks.
WARM SPOT: Manufacturing in the Chicago area rose in
February, more than economists had forecast. The Institute for Supply
Management’s regional index for the Midwest rose to 59.8 from 59.6 in
January. Economists had expected a decline because winter storms have
hit much of the U.S. the past several weeks.
U.S. economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate in the October-December
quarter, significantly slower than first thought, the government
reported Friday. The Commerce Department had estimated that the economy
grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the period. The reduced growth
reflected slower-than-expected consumer spending.
The drama between men’s clothiers Jos. A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse
continued. Jos. A. Bank rejected the $1.78 billion offer by Men’s
Wearhouse, but said it’s willing to meet with Men’s Wearhouse to discuss
a higher offer. Jos. A. Bank rose $1.84, or 3 percent, to $62.14 and
Men’s Wearhouse rose $3.59, or 7 percent, to $54.01.
FEBRUARY: After a 3.6 percent loss in January, the S&P 500 is up 4
percent this month, its best since October 2013. The index closed at an
all-time high of 1,854.29 on Thursday. It’s up almost 1 percent for the
BONDS AND COMMODITIES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the
10-year Treasury note increased to 2.68 percent from 2.64 percent late
Thursday. Crude oil rose 16 cents to $102.57 a barrel and gold decreased
$6.90 to $1,324.90 an ounce.
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