S&P 500 ends week-long rise as Dow gains

NEW YORK REPORT

THE S&P 500 ended lower yesterday, breaking a seven-session string of gains as investors pulled back from technology and financials, but the Dow eked out the smallest of gains to finish at another all-time closing high.

The Dow also hit another lifetime intraday high, while the S&P 500 remains within reach of its all-time closing high of 1,565.15, set on 9 October 2007.

Tech shares, which have lagged the rally, pulled indexes lower as heavyweights such as Apple and Google tumbled. Apple dropped 2.2 per cent to $428.43, as one analyst said the company has a 25 per cent chance of missing its quarterly revenue forecast, while Google fell 0.9 per cent to $827.61.

Financials also underperformed the market, with the S&P 500 financial index down 0.6 per cent.

The Dow rose just 2.77 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 14,450.06 while the S&P 500 dipped 3.74 points, or 0.24 per cent, to finish at 1,552.48 – about 13 points below its record closing high. The Nasdaq index slipped 10.55 points, or 0.32 per cent, to close at 3,242.32.

Among the day’s gainers, J.C. Penney shares rose four per cent to $15.65 amid talk that the department store chain’s chief executive, Ron Johnson, might step down soon. A company representative, however, said there was no basis to the rumours.

In another bright spot, Merck shares gained 3.2 per cent to $45.04 after the pharmaceutical company said an outside board had allowed it to continue a trial assessing its Vytorin cholesterol drug.

Volume was below average, with roughly 5.82bn shares trading on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT.