Profit reports give stocks boost
NEW YORK — The engines driving the stock market were more tepid than turbocharged Thursday, but they were enough to help stocks rise for a fifth straight day.
The three major stock indexes all closed higher as good news on the job market and healthy earnings from name-brand companies like Royal Caribbean and Harley-Davidson encouraged investors.
The Standard & Poor's 500 has risen every day since Friday, a record not matched since early March.
The forces driving the gains, however, were tenuous, market watchers said. Hiring remains sluggish, even with the drop in unemployment claims last week. The S&P's five-day winning streak is hardly a blockbuster: on Wednesday it rose just .01 point. And while companies are turning in profits that are beating the estimates of financial analysts, many are missing revenue forecasts.
Some investors think the stock market's most recent gains have more to do with the belief that central banks around the world, including the Federal Reserve, will continue to keep interest rates low and buy bonds to encourage borrowing and spending.
“Some of the earnings were OK, but it's more just stimulus, stimulus, stimulus,” said Scott Freeze, president of Street One Financial in Huntingdon Valley, Pa. “As long as the world wants to print (money) ... the fears of a global slowdown are going to be muted.”
Joe Heider, principal at Rehmann Group outside Cleveland, thought stocks were up mostly because investors can't think of anywhere else to put their money, given record-low interest rates.
Heider said he thought the latest report on jobless claims was consistent with a “plodding” recovery: “Not booming, not exciting, but we just keep marching forward.”
Weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 16,000 to 339,000, the second-lowest level in more than five years, according to the Labor Department.
The good news for the job market follows a series of setbacks.
In March, employers added only 88,000 jobs, down from an average of 220,000 for the previous four months. The unemployment rate fell to 7.6 percent from 7.7 percent, but only because more people stopped looking for jobs.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Education tech firm Acrobatiq does software to supplement college learning
- 2,000 more layoffs at U.S. Steel debated
- Tesla investors leery as shares, targets plummet
- Chesapeake Energy appoints Brad Martin chairman of the board
- Kombucha producers resist call to indicate alcohol content on labels
- Budweiser brewer AB InBev wants to take over SABMiller for $108.2B
- As craft fades, personal touch helps Northway Shoes & Repair thrive
- Wabtec buying Australian sensor maker Track IQ
- UAW locals compact Fiat Chrysler voting to 2 days
- Class action lawsuit in California seeks Volkswagen buyback
- Barclays said to plan to appoint Jes Staley as bank’s next CEO