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Stocks move higher as markets yawn at Trump’s impeachment

Wall Street
The Wall Street entrance of the New York Stock Exchange.
(Richard Drew / Associated Press)

Technology companies led stocks higher on Wall Street on Thursday, extending the market’s gains for the week and pushing the major indexes to more record highs.

The S&P 500 rose 14.23 points, or 0.4%, to 3,205.37. The benchmark index has notched gains six out of the past seven days. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 137.68 points, or 0.5%, to 28,376.96, a record. The Nasdaq composite climbed 59.48 points, or 0.7%, to 8,887.22, also a record.

The 10-year Treasury yield dipped to 1.91% from 1.92% late Wednesday. The two-year yield was unchanged at 1.62% and the 30-year yield rose to 2.36% from 2.35%.

A batch of encouraging earnings reports from several big companies helped keep investors in a buying mood. Rite Aid, Conagra Brands and Micron Technology rose after posting quarterly results that exceeded analysts’ forecasts.

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Stocks, bonds, gold and a measure of fear among investors on Wall Street made only modest moves in the first day of trading after the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump.

“We’ve kind of known how this was going to play out for months,” said Scott Ladner, chief investment officer at Horizon Investments. “That just means that everybody has had an opinion, and whatever opinion that is it’s been priced into the market.”

Trump had warned months ago that his impeachment would roil markets, but traders say it has had virtually no impact. That’s mostly because they see it as extremely unlikely that he or his market-friendly policies will leave office before the end of his term.

A gauge measuring how worried traders are about upcoming swings for the S&P 500 rose only 0.6%.

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Technology and communication services stocks accounted for much of the gains Thursday. Utilities and energy companies were the only decliners.

Conagra surged 15.9% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after it reported stronger profit and revenue for the latest quarter than Wall Street forecast, due in part to sales of frozen and snack foods.

Micron Technology rose 2.8% after it reported stronger profit for the latest quarter than analysts expected. Its CEO also said it expects this quarter to mark “the cyclical bottom for our financial performance.”

Apogee Enterprises slumped 20.4% after the glass products company reported quarterly earnings that fell far short of what investors were expecting.

Traders sent shares in TiVo 6.1% higher after the company scrapped plans to split up and instead will merge with Xperi, an entertainment technology company.

Reports on the U.S. economy were mixed. Fewer workers applied for jobless benefits last week than the prior week, but the number was higher than economists forecast.

A report by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve said that manufacturing activity was nearly flat in the region last month. The pace of sales of previously occupied homes also weakened last month, as more Americans got priced out of the rising housing market.

Benchmark crude oil rose 29 cents to settle at $61.22 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, gained 37 cents to close at $66.54 a barrel.

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Gold rose $5.60 to $1,478.20 per ounce and silver rose 11 cents to $17.06 per ounce.

The dollar fell to 109.28 Japanese yen from 109.60 yen on Wednesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1123 from $1.1115.


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