Investors sent stocks moderately higher yesterday after the market viewed a Federal Reserve report on the economy as a sign that the Fed's...
NEW YORK — Investors sent stocks moderately higher yesterday after the market viewed a Federal Reserve report on the economy as a sign that the Fed’s string of interest-rate increases might be near an end.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 57.32 to 10,637.09.
Microsoft, one of the 30 Dow stocks, gained 18 cents to close at $25.72 a share. Boeing, also a Dow stock, rose 35 cents to a 52-week high of $66.70 after the aerospace firm beat Wall Street earnings expectations and boosted its outlook for the year.
Broader stock indicators also advanced. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 5.63 to 1,236.79, reaching another four-year high, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 10.23 to 2,186.22.
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Wall Street was mired in a narrow trading range until midafternoon, when the Fed released its beige book, a survey of the business climate around the country. The central bank said the job market improved and that inflation, a concern for the Fed and the stock market, was fairly contained. Seven out of 12 districts reported their regional economies were growing or holding steady.
“It’s a more benign take than previous beige books,” said Robert Tipp, chief investment strategist for Prudential Investment Management. “It will presumably open their eyes (the Fed’s) to the fact that the economy could be cooling … and they won’t have to continue raising rates more than another two or three moves.”
The day’s other economic data were also strong: New-home sales set a record in June and factory orders for big-ticket manufactured products rose at a strong clip. Analysts said investors were hearing the good economic news that they had been hoping for.
“The economic slowdown that was supposed to be happening at this time of year isn’t happening,” said Jack Caffrey, equities strategist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank.
Meanwhile, corporate earnings remained upbeat, with more companies surpassing expectations than missing them. The latest positive surprises came from Boeing and Amazon.com, whose stocks shot up after they reported earnings. Amazon, with sales up 26 percent in the second quarter, rose $5.91 to $43.65.