S&P 500 closes just short of 5,000 points

by Jonathan Adams
S&P 500

US indices eked out modest gains after another round of solid earnings from Disney and others

The S&P 500 was near a landmark new high Thursday, but closed just short of 5,000 points, while oil prices shot higher on concerns about the Middle East.

US indices eked out modest gains after another round of solid earnings from Disney and others.

But while the broad-based S&P 500 actually advanced to 5,000.40 in the final moments of trading, it closed at 4,997.91 – up 0.1% but short of its first ever close above 5,000 points.

Angelo Kourkafas of Edward Jones said next week’s CPI report could be the catalyst that lifts the S&P 500 above the 5,000-point threshold.

It is just a number but it is symbolic of the strength that we have seen in equities given what else is going on, Kourkafas said. Nothing points to the trend being over.

Still, Briefing.com said in a note that more investors are eyeing a pullback that has yet to occur.

Everyone is waiting for a break in the action, but clearly there are enough participants who have kept playing the momentum trade and are intent to stay with the trend until it is no longer a friend, it said.

European stock indices were mostly higher. Paris, Frankfurt and Milan gained, while London was down.

Sentiment remains positive as investors take encouragement to the new record highs being hit across Wall Street on an almost daily basis, said David Morrison, senior market analyst at Trade Nation.

Among individual firms, Disney rose 11.5% as the entertainment giant reported better-than-expected profits, disclosed it is buying a stake in Fortnite maker Epic Games and announced a dividend hike and new share repurchase program.

Shares in French luxury giant Kering gained 6% despite a decline in annual sales and profit as the firm refocuses its business around its top brand Gucci.

London’s FTSE 100 index was pulled down by British drugs group AstraZeneca, which slipped 6% on concern over its outlook after posting bumper profits last year.

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