Health, tech firms boost market

NEW YORK – Large technology and health-care companies and smaller U.S.-focused firms rose again Friday as stocks finished the third quarter at record highs.

The market ended the quarter on a four-day winning streak that began after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank plans to continue raising interest rates.

“It’s all about the confidence they have that despite low inflation, it still makes sense to raise interest rates,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at the Schwab Center for Financial Research. “She’s confident in the economy and the economic backdrop is very solid.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 9.30 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,519.36. The Dow Jones industrial average turned higher to finish with a gain of 23.89 points, or 0.1 percent, at 22,405.09. The Nasdaq composite jumped 42.51 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,495.96. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both closed at all-time highs.

The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks added 2.08 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,490.86. It’s also at record highs after a big rally this month.

Facebook added $2.14, or 1.3 percent, to $170.87 and chip equipment maker Applied Materials rose $1.47, or 2.9 percent, to $52.09. Chipmaker Nvidia advanced $3.09, or 1.8 percent, to $178.77.

KB Home advanced after its third-quarter profit and sales beat estimates. The stock rose $1.90, or 8.6 percent, to $24.12. Other homebuilders also rose. Meritage Homes picked up 85 cents, or 2 percent, to $44.40 and D.R. Horton advanced 95 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $39.93.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 11 cents to $51.67 a barrel in New York. Brent crude rose 13 cents to $57.54 a barrel in London.

Gold lost $3.90 to $1,284.80 an ounce. Silver slid 17 cents to $16.68 an ounce. Copper fell 3 cents to $2.96 a pound.

The dollar rose to 112.51 yen from 112.39 yen. The euro rose to $1.1816 from $1.1791.


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