Stock indexes rise for another record close
New York • U.S. stocks rose Wednesday, pushing benchmark indexes to fresh records, as data showing weakness in manufacturing fueled bets the Federal Reserve will be in no hurry to scale back stimulus.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.5 percent, to 1,658.78. The benchmark equity gauge has set a record in nine of the past 10 sessions. The Dow Jones industrial average added 60.44 points, or 0.4 percent, to a record 15,275.69. More than 6.5 billion shares traded hands on U.S. exchanges Wednesday, or 3.5 percent above the three-month average.
The central bank's policymakers debated at their April 30-May 1 meeting whether to expand or curb the pace of stimulus. They said they're prepared to increase the $85 billion monthly rate of bond buying in response to changes in the labor market or inflation. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has said he would continue unprecedented stimulus until the jobless rate falls to 6.5 percent or inflation rises above 2.5 percent.
Data from the Labor Department showed wholesale prices dropped in April by the most in three years, reflecting a decrease in fuel costs that is helping underpin profits.
U.S. industrial production declined in April by the most in eight months, reflecting broad-based cutbacks in factory output and indicating American manufacturers will provide little support for an economy beset by weaker global markets and federal budget cuts. Manufacturing in the New York region unexpectedly shrank in May as factories received fewer orders and sales stagnated, a separate report showed.
JPMorgan & Chase Co. jumped 1.7 percent, to its highest level since June 2007, as financial shares rallied. Procter & Gamble added 1.5 percent as the index tracking consumer- staples stocks hit a record. Macy's increased 2.5 percent after reporting profit that beat estimates. Netflix rose 4 percent, extending gains for a sixth day. Deere & Co. lost 4.1 percent as the world's biggest agricultural-equipment maker cut its equipment-sales forecast.