Stocks Go Big, Markets Post All-Time Highs
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Major U.S. stock markets jumped Thursday, driving the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average to new closing and intra-day highs after a spate of upbeat earnings reports led by UnitedHealth
The S&P 500 gained 0.5% to 1,689.37 after trading as high as 1,693.12 . The advances bring the index's year-to-date gain to 18.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.5% to 15,548.54 after touching an intraday high of 15,589.40 while the Nasdaq was little changed at 3,611.28.
UnitedHealth rose 6.5% to close at $70.55 after the health insurer beat second-quarter expectations by 15 cents at $1.40 a share after enrollment accelerated and the company raised the lower end of its full-year earnings outlook.
On the downside, Amphenol
In financial services, Morgan Stanley
Investor sentiment on Thursday was also bolstered by the employment outlook as initial jobless claims fell 24,000 to 334,000 in the week ended July 13, according to the Labor Department.
Additionally, the Philadelphia Fed's Business Outlook Survey showed substantial improvement in manufacturing conditions within the Philadelphia Federal Reserve district in July, jumping to 19.8 from 12.5 in June. Economists were expecting a decline to 7.8.
And last but not least, the Conference Board's Leading Economic Index for the U.S. was unchanged in June, remaining at 95.3, following a 0.2% increase in May, and a 0.8% rise in April. A gain of 0.3% in June was expected.