New York Report: S&P hits record high as US deal cheers investors

THE S&P 500 closed at a record high yesterday as investor confidence grew following a last-minute deal to avoid a US default, but weaker-than-expected results from heavyweights IBM and Goldman Sachs pressured the Dow.

The S&P 500’s intraday record of 1732.92 broke the all-time high set 19 September. Over 80 per cent of stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange rose. Technology was the only S&P sector to show a loss.

IBM shares hit a two-year low a day after reporting weaker-than-expected revenue and subtracted 76 points from the Dow industrial average. IBM also was the biggest decliner on the S&P 500, ending down 6.4 per cent at $174.78.

Earnings released after the market’s close by Google boosted shares of the world’s No. 1 Web search engine 6.9 per cent to $950.94 in extended-hours trading. Google said consolidated revenue increased 12 per cent to $14.89bn even as losses deepened at its Motorola mobile phone business.

Congress approved an 11th-hour deal on Wednesday to end a partial government shutdown and increase US borrowing authority, pulling the United States back from a possible default on its debt. The CBOE Volatility Index, a measure of investor anxiety, fell to 13.43, the lowest since 20 September, the week before the government shutdown began.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 3.98 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 15,369.85. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 11.36 points, or 0.66 per cent, at 1,732.90. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 23.72 points, or 0.62 per cent, at 3,863.15.