Dow and S&P continue their winning streak

CITIGROUP’S solid earnings helped the S&P 500 end higher yesterday for an eighth straight day, the longest such streak since mid-January, though weak retail sales curbed the advance.

The Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 finished at record closing highs for the third consecutive session. The Nasdaq scored its highest close since September 2000.

Volume was the lowest of any full trading day this year, with just 4.89bn shares trading on exchanges, compared to the average this year of 6.4bn.

Shares of Citigroup rose two per cent to $51.81 after the third-largest US bank by assets reported a 26 per cent increase in adjusted quarterly profit. The S&P 500 financial industry sector index gained 0.4 per cent.

Leap Wireless International shares more than doubled after AT&T said late Friday it would buy the company for $1.19bn and at least two brokerages raised their ratings on Leap’s stock. Leap ended at $16.95 – up 112.41 per cent.

The day’s economic data was mixed, however, with growth in New York state manufacturing for July accelerating, while June retail sales fell short of expectations. May business inventories barely increased.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 19.96 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 15,484.26, a record closing high. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 2.31 points, or 0.14 per cent, to finish at 1,682.50, also a record. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 7.41 points, or 0.21 per cent, to end at 3,607.49 – its highest close since September 2000.