Stocks edge up ahead of Thanksgiving break
NEW YORK — The stock market crept higher on Wednesday before the Thanksgiving holiday. Major market indexes got a slight lift when news broke of a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The truce was announced by Egypt's foreign minister and confirmed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A week of fighting has killed more than 140 Palestinians and five Israelis.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 48.38 points to 12,836.89. Each of three of the most expensive stocks in the average — Boeing, IBM and United Technologies — rose more than 60 cents. Higher-priced stocks in the Dow carry more weight.
The Labor Department reported that first-time applications for unemployment benefits fell by 41,000 last week to 410,000. The figure remains temporarily high because of Hurricane Sandy and was in line with what economists had expected.
“The news today didn't mess anything up,” said Harry Clark, CEO of Clark Capital Management, an investment advisory firm in Philadelphia. “With no bad news, this market will drift higher.”
That's partially because investors have stopped worrying as much about the “fiscal cliff” of tax increases and government spending cuts that are set to take effect Jan. 1, Clark said.
Over the past week, congressional Republicans and Democrats have made conciliatory remarks and raised hopes that they will reach a deal to stave off the full effect of the budget-tightening measures.
While the cuts would hurt the economy gradually, they could be enough to push the United States back into recession next year, economists have warned.
“Both sides appear to have extended an olive branch,” said JJ Kinahan, chief derivatives strategist at TD Ameritrade. “The assumption now is that it may not be pretty, but at the end of the day they'll get some compromise worked out.”
In other Wednesday trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 3.22 points to 1,391.03. Utilities fell the most, and telecommunication companies rose the most, but no category moved more than 0.6 percent.
The Nasdaq composite index rose 9.87 points to 2,926.55.
In the bond market, the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note inched up to 1.68 percent.
The quiet trading followed a largely uneventful Tuesday. The Dow dropped as much as 94 points after a warning from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke about federal budget talks, then recovered to end with just a 7-point loss.
The stock market will be closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving and will close early Friday.
Congress has the week off and will take up budget negotiations when its members return next week.
Among companies making news on Wednesday:
• Deere, the maker of tractors and other farm and construction equipment, dropped 4 percent. It reported a quarterly profit of $1.75 per share, missing Wall Street expectations of $1.88.
• Chipotle Mexican Group, the restaurant chain, climbed 3 percent. It announced late Tuesday that it would buy back an additional $100 million of its own stock.
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.
- Steelers RB Archer trying to catch up after tough rookie season
- Steelers LB Timmons has grown into leadership role on defense
- Pirates third baseman Ramirez’s last ride is about winning a ring
- Steelers notebook: Backup QB Gradkowski remains out with shoulder issue
- Consol takes $603 million loss in second quarter
- Rising East Liberty out of reach for Pittsburgh’s poor
- Former Cal U football player cleared of assault charges sues university, police, prosecutor
- Dollars and sense: High cost of child care keeps many out of work force
- Pa. House speaker says overriding Wolf’s budget veto ‘an option’
- Medical pot has advocate in Pennsylvania House
- Watering garden right during summer’s high temperatures makes difference