The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

October 18, 2013

S&P 500 reaches all-time high after Congress reaches debt deal

By KEN SWEET
Associated Press

NEW YORK —

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index reached an all-time high Thursday, a day after Washington reached a deal to avoid a U.S. default.

The S&P 500 rose 11 points, or 0.6 percent, at 1,732 with 10 minutes of trading left. It’s on course to beat its previous closing high of 1,725 reached on Sept. 18.

The market was up as investors got back to focusing on corporate earnings and economic data. American Express and Verizon rose the most in the Dow Jones industrials after reporting earnings that beat analysts’ estimates.

The Dow was flat in late trading at 15,373, held back by declines in IBM, Goldman Sachs and UnitedHealth, which issued results that disappointed investors.

The Nasdaq composite rose 22 points, or 0.6 percent, to 3,861.

The focus on earnings is a change of pace for Wall Street, which had been absorbed in Washington’s political drama over the last month. Now that the U.S. has avoided the possibility of default, at least for a few months, traders are returning to a state of normalcy.

“I don’t think we can completely close the door on the debt ceiling chapter just yet, but we can get back to the stuff that really matters,” said Jonathan Corpina, who manages trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for Meridian Equity Partners.

IBM’s third-quarter revenue fell and missed Wall Street’s forecast by more than $1 billion. The stock was down $12.10, or 7 percent, to $174.50.