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Overnight Markets: S&P 500 scales another record high on Fed hopes
by Himanshu Singh on Oct 29, 2013 at 02:59
Wall Street finished little changed on Monday, with the S&P 500 closing at another record high, as weaker-than-forecast US economic data fuelled bets the Federal Reserve will keep its stimulus in place when it meets this week.
The Dow Jones industrial average dipped one points, or 0.01%, to end at 15,569. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained two points, or 0.13%, to finish at a record 1,762. The S&P 500 also posted another lifetime intraday high at 1,765. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped three points, or 0.08%, to close at 3,940.
Among the latest signs that the economy's momentum may be easing, US manufacturing output barely rose in September and contracts to buy previously owned homes recorded their largest decline in nearly 3-1/2 years, according to economic data released on Monday.
Fed policy makers meet on Tuesday and Wednesday to consider whether economic growth is strong enough to start trimming $85 billion of bond purchases.
Shares of Apple Inc (AAPL.O) rose 0.7% ahead of the release of its earnings boosting the S&P 500. But in extended-hours trading, Apple’s shares closed flat following the tech bellwether's results.
The consumer staples also gained on hopes that the sector will continue to perform well through the end of the year.
On the down side, Merck & Co (MRK.N) lost 2.6% and was one of the biggest drags on the Dow after the company reported a decline in sales of its Januvia diabetes treatment.
Biogen Idec (BIIB.O) posted a rise in its third-quarter profit and boosted its full-year earnings and revenue outlook, sending the US biotech company's stock up 0.9%.
In deal news, Mosaic Co (MOS.N) agreed to buy CF Industries Holdings Inc's (CF.N) phosphate mining and manufacturing business for $1.2 billion in cash. Shares of CF climbed 4.2% while Mosaic gained 1.6%.
Elsewhere, Burger King Worldwide Inc. rose 5.8% after third-quarter sales topped estimates. Dendreon Corp. jumped 11% as sources said the drugmaker is seeking a buyer.
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