Stock prices were mostly higher Thursday after a deal was reached in Washington to avoid a default by the U.S. government.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 11.61 points to 1,733.15, a new record-closing high. The Dow Jones industrial average, down 144 points in early trading, finished with a loss of just 2.18 points at 15,371.65 and the Nasdaq composite index rose 23.71 points to 3,863.15.
The markets should get a boost today from shares of Google after the Internet search company reported sales and earnings well above expectations.
Gold gained $40.70 to $1,323 an ounce. However, oil fell to its lowest level since July 2 after a government report showed another increase in supplies. Crude closed at $100.67 a barrel, down $1.62.
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) rallied the most in nearly two years after reporting third-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates. Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM) the second-largest gold miner, jumped 4.6 percent $27.06 as the price of the precious metal surged.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) sank 6.4 percent after posting its sixth consecutive drop in quarterly sales. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) dropped 2.4 percent to $158.32 as the bank reported a 20 percent drop in revenue.
About 6.6 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, 12 percent above the three-month average.
The S&P 500 gained 2.4 percent during the 16-day government closure that ended yesterday after President Barack Obama signed a bill to fund the government through Jan. 15 and extend the borrowing authority through Feb. 7.
Investors will now weigh the shutdown’s effects on corporate earnings and economic growth as the impasse fueled bets that the Fed will delay reducing its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases.
The “fiscal shenanigans” undermined the case for tapering, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, an opponent to increasing stimulus, said Thursday.
The Fed stimulus has helped the equity gauge surge 156 percent from its March 2009 low. The index has jumped 22 percent this year.
The rally in stocks this year has pushed valuations to a three-year high and is the broadest since at least 1990. The S&P 500 trades at 16.5 times reported operating profit, a 17 percent increase from the beginning of 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Equities could come under pressure as companies from Knoll Inc. (NYSE: KNL) to NCI Inc. (Nasdaq: NCIT) have said they expect the shutdown to affect revenue in the last three months of the year.
Data on Thursday showed that more Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week. California continued to work through a backlog, indicating it will take time to gauge the impact of the federal shutdown.
The Labor Department will release on Oct. 22 its September employment report, delayed by the shutdown from the scheduled date of Oct. 4. Data on consumer prices for last month will be released Oct. 30.
A report Thursday showed Americans in October were the most pessimistic about the nation’s economic prospects in almost two years as concern mounted that continued political gridlock will hurt the expansion. The monthly Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index expectations gauge plunged to minus 31, the lowest level since November 2011.
Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) jumped 5.9 percent to $941.06 at 4:31 p.m. in New York after posting sales that topped estimates as advertisers boosted spending on mobile and video promotions.
Nine of 10 main groups in the S&P 500 advanced Thursday. Phone, utility and materials stocks rallied at least 1.3 percent to pace gains.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) increased 3.5 percent to $48.90, the highest since August.
Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE: BTU) surged 3.9 percent to $18.58. The largest U.S. coal producer posted a surprise third-quarter profit after a recovery in domestic prices for coal used to generate electricity and a reduction in mining costs.
American Express Co. rallied 5.1 percent, the most since November 2011, to a record $80.23. The biggest credit-card issuer by customer purchases, said worldwide card spending, or billed business, rose 7.3 percent to $236.2 billion.
IBM plunged 6.4 percent to $174.83 for the biggest drop in the Dow. Third-quarter revenue fell 4 percent to $23.7 billion, $1 billion less than analysts had forecast in a Bloomberg survey.
EBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) slipped 4 percent to $51.38, the lowest since Sept. 3, after saying fourth-quarter sales will be from $4.5 billion to $4.6 billion amid “dramatically decelerating U.S. e-commerce growth.”