Dow tracks ninth straight day of record close
U.S. stocks were slightly up in early afternoon trading on Monday, with the Dow on track to close at a record high for the ninth straight day, after squeezing out another all-time high just after the open.
The rise in the Dow also put the blue-chip index on track to close higher for the 10th straight day, its longest streak of consecutive gains since February.
Markets have been boosted in recent weeks by robust second-quarter earnings, and the strong July employment report on Friday added to the positive sentiment.
"We have strong earnings that is helping the market," said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group.
"I have seen a lot of companies exceeding their revenue growth and we also have better-than-expected global growth, which are the main drivers for equities."
Analysts, on average, expect S&P 500 earnings to have expanded 12 percent in the second quarter and project earnings up 9.3 percent for the September quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
However, the recent run-up has also sparked concerns about stretched valuations.
The S&P, which is up about 11 percent this year, is trading at 18 times expected earnings, compared to its 10-year average of 14, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream.
At 12:38 p.m. ET (1638 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 24.61 points, or 0.11 percent, at 22,117.42, the S&P 500 was up 2.04 points, or 0.08 percent, at 2,478.87.
The Nasdaq Composite was up 25.69 points, or 0.4 percent, at 6,377.25.
Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the consumer staples and technology leading the advancers.
Apple, Facebook and Nvidia were the top boosts on the S&P and the Nasdaq.
Tech has been the best performing S&P sector this year, as investors look for growth in an otherwise low-growth environment.
The energy index`s 0.88 percent loss led the laggards as oil prices edged lower on lingering worries over high production from OPEC and the United States. [O/R]
Oil majors Chevron and Exxon were down about 0.25 percent.
Shares of United Technologies were down 1.84 percent following a report that the company had submitted an offer to buy aircraft component manufacturer Rockwell Collins. Rockwell was up 3.34 percent.
Warren Buffett`s Berkshire Hathaway was down 1.11 percent after the company reported a drop in second-quarter profit.
Tyson Foods rose 4.94 percent after the No.1 U.S. meat processor reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and sales.
MyoKardia surged as much as 88.33 percent to a record high after the company`s heart drug succeeded in a mid-stage study.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,443 to 1,367. On the Nasdaq, 1,526 issues rose and 1,301 fell.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
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