Google leads S&P’s charge to new highs

The S&P 500 has built on yesterday’s rally, pushing through to record levels on the back of strong corporate results.

Not only are the three main US index benchmarks up today, they are also heading for a weekly gain, with the S&P now more than 2% higher than it finished last Friday.

Search engine goliath Google led the way, surging in excess of 13% today after reporting expectation-busting earnings last night after the market shut. The company’s share price has broken through $1000 for the first time, with a wave of brokers upgrading the stock that has gained more than 40% for the year to date.

By early afternoon in New York, the Dow was up 0.1% at 15,387, out-performed by the S&P 500 and NASDAQ 100, which climbed 0.54% and 1.4% respectively.

Among the companies posting bumper results today, Dow component and global conglomerate General Electric gained 4% after beating estimates with its earnings, while Morgan Stanley added 2.5% on the back of a 30% rise in revenue.

Up till the resolution of the debt-ceiling negotiations this earnings season has been fairly low profile, but IBM’s poor results and today’s rash of strong reports have brought it into focus. 85 companies in the S&P 500 have reported so far, with earnings beating estimates by an arithmetic mean value of 4.2%, based on data from Reuters.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans is due to deliver a speech on the economy and monetary policy later today and New York Fed President William Dudley will be speaking in Washington. It will be interesting to see if they say anything to massage expectations of when tapering of the Fed’s stimulus will begin now that we have come out of the other side of the government shutdown.

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