Wall Street advanced on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones industrials pushing past its record close as Asian markets recovered from a selloff and investors sifted through a barrage of corporate profit reports.
NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street advanced on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones industrials pushing past its record close as Asian markets recovered from a selloff and investors sifted through a barrage of corporate profit reports.
Investors breathed a bit easier after Asian markets staged a recovery overnight, soothing concerns the region was in jeopardy of slipping into an economic crisis. The Thai government on Tuesday partially backed off a plan to impose capital controls on foreign investors.
Investors viewed a strong report from automobile dealership chain CarMax Inc. as a boost to the automotive industry. However, transports were lower after FedEx Corp. forecast third-quarter earnings that trailed Wall Street projections.
The stock market advance comes a day after investors overcame lackluster figures on inflation to send the Dow to its 21st record close since the start of October.
“We view this as an interesting market – one that is clearly liquidity driven versus fundamentally driven,” said David Iben, chief investment officer of Tradewinds, an affiliate of Nuveen Investments. “That help explains why the market is moving higher with little news.”
In late afternoon trading, the Dow rose 4.16, or 0.03 percent, at 12,475.48. On Tuesday, the Dow closed at a record 12,471.32, and hit a record intraday high of 12,491.91.
Broader stock indicators were mixed. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dipped 0.99, or 0.07 percent, to 1,424.56, and the Nasdaq composite index was up 1.12, or 0.05 percent, at 1,430.68.
Bonds fell, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rising to 4.60 percent from 4.59 percent late Tuesday. The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices fell.
Bill Strazzullo, partner and chief market strategist at Bell Curve Trading, said the S&P’s slight weakness may be technical. He sees the index’s top at 1,450, and believes investors are pulling money back to lock in profits.
“There has been a lot of performance-chasing going on as the year comes to an end,” he said. “This hasn’t been the greatest fundamental or technical backdrop, but the market keeps pushing up because investors can’t afford to miss any more.”
FedEx fell $2.46, or 2.2 percent, to $111.54 after its fiscal third-quarter forecast came in below Wall Street expectations. The shipping company reported a 9 percent increase in its second-quarter profit amid strong results from its ground delivery business.
Used car dealer CarMax rose $4.70, or 9.7 percent, to $53.33 after its third-quarter earnings nearly doubled on strong sales to the wholesale market and increased demand for trucks and sport utility vehicles.
Sally Beauty Holdings Inc. fell $1.56, or 16.9 percent, to $7.70 after the beauty supplies company said it lost certain exclusive distribution rights for L’Oreal products.
Real-estate investment trust Taubman Centers Inc. predicted its 2006 funds from operations, a closely watched metric in the real estate industry, will top Wall Street’s forecasts. Taubman rose 87 cents to $49.88.
Biotech drug developer Kosan Biosciences Inc. rose 47 cents, or 9.6 percent, to $5.35 after striking an agreement in which Pfizer Inc. will help develop a compound to treat gastrointestinal diseases.
Redback Networks Inc., a maker of routers for broadband networks, jumped $4.28, or 20.2 percent, to $25.45 after LM Ericsson agreed to acquire the company for $2.1 billion.
Panacos Pharmaceuticals Inc. fell $1.87, or 32.3 percent, to $3.82 and hit a new 52-week low after a mid-stage study of its HIV treatment candidate failed to meet expectations.
New York Stock Exchange shareholders on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted for a proposed $14.3 billion acquisition of Paris-based Euronext that would form the first trans-Atlantic financial market. NYSE shares fell 26 cents to $103.10.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies was up 3.70, or 0.47 percent, at 785.80.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by about 3 to 2 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 1.09 billion shares.
Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei stock average closed up 1.40 percent. At the close, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.09 percent, Germany’s DAX index was up 0.51 percent, and France’s CAC-40 was up 0.54 percent.