Stocks inched up to another record yesterday after spending much of the day fluttering between gains and losses.
After big moves up in recent days, investors appeared to take a bit of breather. They nudged stocks higher at the open, then sent them down, then back up in indecisive trading that set the tone for the rest of the day. In the last half-hour, the Standard & Poor’s 500 crept to a tiny gain, closing up less than a third of a point, an increase of just 0.01 per cent.
Still, it was another high, and a winning streak that began with a strong U.S. jobs report on Friday continued for the fourth consecutive day.
Investors are hoping the strengthening economy, combined with low interest rates, will help lift corporate profits and the appetite for stocks.
Ernie Cecilia, chief investment officer of Bryn Mawr Trust, said, “Good economic numbers could translate into decent second quarter earnings, and rates are low”. That makes for a “decent environment” for stocks.
Utility companies fared better than the rest of the market, though, a sign that investors are cautious as they seek out the relative safety of steady dividend payers. Investors also sought safety in U.S. government bonds, sending yields lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which had been rising since hitting an all-time low last week, dropped to 1.47 per cent from 1.51 per cent.