Standard & Poor hits highest level since May on surging earnings estimates

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index climbed to the highest level since May last week after companies including Pfizer and News Corp. beat earnings estimates and reports showed expansion in the service and manufacturing industries.

The S&P 500 pared its weekly gain after slower-than-forecast growth in corporate payrolls. Pfizer's 8.3 percent surge led health-care companies in the stock index to the biggest rally among 10 industries, while News Corp. climbed 8.1 percent.

The S&P 500 rose 1.8 percent to 1,121.64 and reached a two- month high of 1127.24 Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 187.62 points, or 1.8 percent, to 10,653.56.

"People had the overriding fear about the job reports and the lackluster nature of this economy, but that does not address the strong corporate profits," said Philip Dow, director of equity strategy at Minneapolis-based RBC Wealth Management, which oversees $164 billion. "People were paying attention to more than the economic malaise."

The S&P 500 has gained 4 percent since July 12. Almost 78 percent of S&P 500 companies that released results since then have exceeded the average forecast.

The Treasury will sell $30 billion in three- and six-month bills on Monday. They yielded 0.15 percent and 0.19 percent, respectively, in when-issued trading.

-- Bloomberg News

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