The SP 500 and Nasdaq Composite closed at fresh records on Thursday, as U.S. stocks advanced for a sixth straight session, thanks in part to big gains in shares of Best Buy after quarterly results.
The SP 500 index
rose 10.68 points, or 0.4%, to finish at 2,415.07, after setting an intraday record of 2,418.71. Nine of the 11 main sectors were higher, led by gains in consumer-discretionary shares. Energy stocks, however, were off 1.8%.
The SP 500’s win streak marks the 11th time the large-cap index has risen for six sessions in a row in the past five years. In the 10 previous incidences, stocks were higher two weeks later 80% of the time, with an average gain of 57 basis points, according to Frank Cappelleri, executive director at Instinet LLC.
The Nasdaq Composite Index
added 42.23, or 0.7%, to end at 6,205.26. It also set an intraday record at 6,217.34.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
climbed 70.53 points, or 0.3%, to close at 21,082.95, putting it within roughly 30 points of its record of 21,115.55 on March 1.
“Stocks are up, certainly helped by yesterday’s release of the [Federal Open Market Committee] meeting minutes which suggested there will be a very gradual and thoughtful balance sheet normalization process,” said Kristina Hooper, global market strategist at Invesco.
The FOMC minutes indicated that members were in agreement on a slow and deliberate approach to unwinding the massive balance sheet built up as part of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative-easing program.
The gains were also underpinned by robust earnings, according to Steve Chiavarone, portfolio manager at Federated Global Allocation Fund.
“A 15% earnings growth in the first quarter was all achieved without any fiscal stimulus, so investors can afford to be patient even as tax cuts and deregulation reforms are being delayed,” Chiavarone said.
Investors appeared to shrug off a drop in crude-oil prices. On Thursday, crude prices
sank more than 4% after Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Khalid al-Falih ruled out deeper cuts to production in any extension to an OPEC output agreement. But the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries did agree to a nine-month extension to the current deal at Thursday’s meeting in Vienna, as expected.
Individual movers: Shares in Best Buy Co.
soared 22% after the retailer beat profit expectations, reported a surprise increase in same-store sales and provided an upbeat outlook. The stock’s double-digit percentage rise was the biggest one-day gain for the stock since Jan. 3, 2001, according to FactSet.
Medical devices maker Medtronic PLC
rose 1% after earnings and revenue topped views.
is off 3.4% after rising earlier following better-than-expected quarterly results.
See: HP boosted by double bump from PC and printer growth
Signet Jewelers Ltd.
dropped 7.8% after the retailer’s earnings fell short of forecasts. Signet’s debt was promptly downgraded by Fitch following earnings.
Dollar Tree Inc.
climbed 0.9% after its quarterly results.
Hormel Foods Corp.
sank 6.4% on disappointing quarterly sales. The Spam maker said pressure on its Jennie-O Turkey Store is likely to continue.
Economic news: Initial jobless claims rose by 1,000 to 234,000 in the seven days stretching from May 14 to May 20, largely in line with expectations.
Advanced U.S. trade deficit in goods widened by 3.8% in April to $67.6 billion.
Check out: MarketWatch’s Economic Calendar
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is slated to give a talk in Japan about the American economy after the U.S. market’s close—at 11 p.m. Eastern.
Other markets: European stocks
were mostly lower, while Asian markets closed with gains. Gold futures
edged higher and a key dollar index
was flat. Meanwhile, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note
was at 2.25%.
—Victor Reklaitis contributed to this article.