Wall Street surged higher yesterday as investors welcomed encouraging economic data and a continuation of double-digit corporate earnings...
NEW YORK — Wall Street surged higher yesterday as investors welcomed encouraging economic data and a continuation of double-digit corporate earnings growth.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 60.59 to 10,683.74.
Microsoft, one of the 30 Dow stocks, soared 89 cents to close at $26.81 a share. Boeing, also a Dow stock, gained 58 cents to $66.33.
The Nasdaq composite index rose 22.77 to 2,218.15, its best close since June 2001. The S&P 500 index hit a new four-year high for the sixth time since July 14. The index rose 8.77 to 1,244.12.
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Crude-oil futures, one of Wall Street’s persistent worries this summer, closed at a record for the second day in a row. A barrel of light crude settled at $61.89, up 32 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Investors embraced the Commerce Department’s report that consumer spending rose 0.8 percent in June, the largest increase since April. Incomes also grew at a nice clip, which dovetailed with an improved jobs picture in June, when the unemployment rate fell to 5 percent, a nearly four-year low. Another Commerce Department report showed orders at U.S. factories rose 1 percent in June, in line with expectations.
Strong corporate earnings again drove stock prices. Earnings are on track to grow 10.74 percent for the second quarter, which would be the 13th straight quarter of double-digit earnings growth. Since the early July start of earnings season, the market has gained 3.7 percent, reversing the 1.70 percent loss for the first half of the year, according to data from Standard & Poor’s.
As the market has recovered from its March 2003 lows, 84 percent of that gain has been attributable to higher corporate earnings, said David Darst, chief investment strategist of Morgan Stanley’s Individual Investor Group.
“We’re finally starting to see the markets wake up to the fact that the economy is in pretty good shape,” said John Caldwell, chief investment strategist for McDonald Financial Group, which is part of Cleveland-based KeyCorp. “Most of the data continues to be good.”