Dow makes it 8: Best win streak since April '07

Wall Street closes at fresh 2009 highs, with blue chip average managing longest winning streak in nearly 2-1/2 years.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all RSS FEEDS (close)
By Alexandra Twin, senior writer

Should the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit be extended beyond Nov. 30?
  • Yes
  • No

NEW YORK( -- Stocks rose Thursday, with the Dow extending its winning streak to eight straight sessions in a thinly-traded advance fueled by bank shares and Boeing.

Dell (DELL, Fortune 500) reported weaker sales and earnings that beat expectations, in a profit report that was released minutes before the close of trading, ahead of schedule. Shares gained 6.5% in extended-hours trading.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) added 37 points, or 0.4%. The blue-chip average ended higher for the eighth session in a row, marking its longest winning streak since the period ended April 10, 2007.

The S&P 500 (SPX) index gained 3 points, or 0.3%. The Nasdaq composite (COMP) edged up 3 points, or 0.2%.

Stocks ended Wednesday's session with the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq at their highest levels since last fall. But investors found few reasons to extend the push Thursday, despite better-than-expected readings on housing and jobless claims. Nonetheless, the early weakness disappeared as the session ran on.

"There's a floor in this market and it's probably at least 5% below the recent highs," said Tyler Vernon, chief investment officer at Biltmore Capital. "There's still so much cash on the sidelines that when we see a selloff, there are retail investors and institutional investors ready to jump back in."

Stocks have essentially risen for the last five months, with the S&P 500 ending Wednesday's session up 52% from the 12-year low it hit on March 9. But the pace of the run, coupled with light August trading volume, has left markets churning over the last two weeks.

Better-than-expected economic news -- and a healthy infusion of monetary and fiscal stimulus -- drove the rally. But the latest batch of economic reports have had less of an impact on investor sentiment.

Reports are due Friday on July personal income and spending from the Commerce Department and August consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan.

GDP: Gross Domestic Product, the broadest measure of the health of the economy, declined at a 1.0% annual pace in the second quarter, unchanged from the initial reading last month. Economists thought GDP would be revised to show it slowed at a 1.5% annualized pace, according to estimates. In the first quarter, GDP declined at a 6.4% annualized rate.

Job market: The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment last week dipped to 570,000 from a revised 580,000 the previous week. Economists surveyed by thought claims would fall to 565,000.

Oil: The price of oil turned higher, erasing morning lows. Oil hit 10-month highs earlier in the week. U.S. light crude oil for October delivery rose $1.06 to settle at $72.49 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Dow components Chevron (CVX, Fortune 500) and Exxon Mobil (XOM, Fortune 500) both posted modest losses after sliding 2% through the early afternoon.

Financials: On the upside, shares of AIG (AIG, Fortune 500) rallied 27% after the company's CEO told Reuters that he doesn't support a fire sale of the insurer's assets. New CEO Robert Benmosche said in a year, people will say the bailed-out insurer is performing well. The stock has jumped 274% in August alone.

Other financials rallying included Freddie Mac (FRE, Fortune 500), Fannie Mae (FNM, Fortune 500), Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) and Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) -- all of which have also received government help. The four have been responsible for much of the trading volume over the last few sessions.

Also in active trading, bond insurer AMBAC Financial (ABK) jumped 28%, while CIT Group (CIT, Fortune 500) gained 12%.

Company news: Dow component Boeing (BA, Fortune 500) said it will have its long-in-the works 787 Dreamliner in the air by the end of the year and that it will make deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2010. The airplane manufacturer said it will take a non-cash charge of $2.5 billion, or $2.21 per share, in the third quarter.

Shares rallied 8.7%.

Toll Brothers (TOL) reported a quarterly loss of $2.93 per share, versus a loss of 18 cents a year ago. The luxury homebuilder was expected to report a loss of $1.79 per share, according to estimates. Toll Brothers also reported a drop in revenue that nonetheless managed to top estimates.

Problem banks: The number of financial institutions on the government's watch list surpassed 400 in the second quarter, the highest level in 15 years, the government said Thursday.

World markets: European markets tumbled in afternoon trading, while Asian markets mostly ended higher, with the Japanese Nikkei rising 1.4%.

Bonds: Treasury prices slipped, raising the yield on the benchmark 10-year note to 3.47% from 3.43% late Wednesday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Treasury sold $42 billion of 2-year notes Tuesday, $39 billion of five-year notes Wednesday. The sale of $28 billion of 7-year notes Thursday saw a weaker-than-expected demand, but it didn't seem to impact the bond market much.

Other markets: COMEX gold for December delivery rose $6 to settle at $951.80 an ounce.

In currency trading, the dollar rose versus the euro and fell versus the Japanese yen.

Market breadth was negative. On the New York Stock Exchange, losers beat winners eight to seven on volume of 1.16 billion shares. On the Nasdaq, decliners beat advancers by a narrow margin on volume of 2.16 billion shares.

How does your portfolio look nearly one year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers? What investment choices hurt you or helped you the most? What strategy changes are you making for the future? Tell us your story. E-mail and your thoughts could be part of an upcoming story. For the Comment Policy, click here. To top of page

They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
10 of the most luxurious airline amenity kits When it comes to in-flight pampering, the amenity kits offered by these 10 airlines are the ultimate in luxury More
7 startups that want to improve your mental health From a text therapy platform to apps that push you reminders to breathe, these self-care startups offer help on a daily basis or in times of need. More
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.