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U.S. Stocks Lose Momentum on Valuations After S&P 500 Tops 2,000

Aug. 27 (Bloomberg) -- The rally that propelled the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index above a record 2,000 lost a little bit of momentum today.

The S&P 500 fell 0.3 point, less than 0.1 percent, to 1,999.72 as of 10:58 a.m. in New York. About the same number of stocks in the index rose and fell. Trading volume was 29 percent below the 30-day average at this time of day.

“The market is not overly expensive, not cheap either,” Ethan Anderson, senior portfolio manager at Rehmann Financial in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said by phone. His firm oversees $1.5 billion. “In the absence of strong corporate earnings, you are not necessarily going to see a huge surge in equities over the next 12 months. But the little notch up, on a regular basis, you’re likely to see continue.”

Global markets are surmounting crises in Ukraine, the Gaza Strip and Iraq as investors renew bets that stimulus will revive growth. Rallies from Brazil to Japan and the U.S. gauge’s first trip above 2,000 have sent the value of global equities to a record $66 trillion.

The S&P 500 is up almost 5 percent since Aug. 7, boosted by speculation the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low as the economy strengthens. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has also signaled policy makers may consider introducing an asset-buying plan.

Equity Valuations

The U.S. equity benchmark has seen gains in 10 of the past 13 days. It trades at 18 times the reported earnings of its companies, near the highest level since 2010.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 8.42 points to 17,115.12 today. The Nasdaq Composite Index, which has fallen only once since Aug. 13, was little changed. Among industries in the S&P 500, telephone stocks had the biggest gain, while technology stocks fell the most.

Tiffany & Co. added 1.9 percent as affluent customers continued spending even as the luxury jewelry retailer increased prices. Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. tumbled 14 percent after the gunmaker cut its full-year sales and profit forecast amid declining demand. Chico’s FAS Inc., a women’s clothing retailer, slumped 3.9 percent on lower-than-estimated sales.

Michaels Cos. jumped 7.3 percent as the arts and crafts retailer reported second-quarter earnings that topped analysts’ estimates. Express Inc. increased 12 percent after the apparel chain raised its full-year profit forecast.

“U.S. markets continue to defy geopolitical worries,” Richard Hunter, the head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Plc in London, wrote in an e-mail. “Many of the blocks are in place for the equity markets to make further progress.”

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