NEW YORK – The Standard & Poor’s 500 index eked out the smallest of gains to set a record high Monday as investors assessed third-quarter earnings news.
Earnings will hold investors’ attention this week as major U.S. companies including McDonald’s, Boeing and Procter & Gamble report their results. Rising profits have been one of the key supports for this year’s rally in stocks.
Toymaker Hasbro and the V.F. Corporation, which owns clothing brands including Wrangler and The North Face, were among the biggest gainers in the S&P 500 after reporting earnings that beat analysts’ expectations. McDonalds dipped after reporting disappointing revenue.
The S&P 500 closed up a fraction of a point at 1,744.66, an all-time high, its third consecutive record close. Stocks climbed last week after Washington reached a deal to end a 16-day government shutdown and avert a default on the nation’s debt.
The index is up 22 percent so far this year, putting it on track for its best year since 2009.
The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 7.45 points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,392.20. The Nasdaq composite rose 5.77 points, or 0.2 percent, to 3,920.05.
Stocks will likely continue adding to their gains, at least until the end of the year, as investors get more confident that the market’s rally is sustainable, said Joe Bell, a senior equities analyst at Schaeffer’s Investment Research.
McDonald’s fell 61 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $94.59 after the world’s biggest hamburger chain’s revenue fell short of Wall Street analyst’s expectations.
Hasbro surged after reporting that its net income rose 17 percent as sales increased. Its adjusted results and revenue topped analysts’ estimates. The stock climbed $2.48, or 5.2 percent, to $49.72. V.F. Corporation rose $6.93, or 3.4 percent, to $211.23 after its earnings beat analysts’ expectations.
Netflix jumped in after-hours trading after the company said its net income quadrupled to $32 million, or 52 cents a share. That beat analyst expectations for 48 cents a share.
The government’s monthly jobs report for September will be released today, giving investors more information about the strength of the U.S. economy. The report, which is typically released on the first Friday of every month, was delayed because of the government shutdown.
Economists predict that the U.S. economy added 180,000 jobs in September, according to data provider FactSet. Investors may discount the report though, as it is being published more than two weeks late.
Homebuilders slumped after Americans bought fewer previously occupied homes in September than the previous month, held back by higher mortgage rates and rising prices. The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of re-sold homes fell 1.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.29 million. In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year note edged up to 2.61 percent from 2.58 percent Friday.
Among stocks making big moves:
• General Electric rose 59 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $26.14 after Citigroup added the company to its U.S. Focus List, citing the company’s buyback program and cost-cutting plans as some of the reasons to own the stock.
• Gannett, the media company that owns USA Today, fell 59 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $26.90 after reporting lower earnings and revenue.