closing bell

Dow Gains 49, Nasdaq Climbs 29

Trading volume was light as Friday Wall Street braced for what is forecast to be the largest winter storm in more than a year. Up to 2 feet of snow forecast along the densely populated Interstate 95 corridor from the New York City area to Boston and beyond.
Associated Press,

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Standard and Poor's 500 edged up to a five-year high Friday, extending a rally that started in January.

The S&P 500 rose 8.54 points to 1,517.93, closing 0.3 percent up for the week. The index is at its highest since November 2007 and has advanced for six weeks, the longest streak of gains since August.

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The Dow Jones industrial average rose 48.92 points, or 0.4 percent, to 13,992.97. The Nasdaq composite climbed 28.74 points, or 0.9 percent, to finish the week at 3,193.87.

The Dow had its best January in almost two decades, and closed above 14,000 on Feb. 1 for the first time since 2007. The index is up 6.8 percent so far this year; the S&P 500 is up 6.4 percent.

A last-minute budget deal in Washington to avoid the "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts helped powered the rally, as did as optimism about the housing sector and gradual improvements in the jobs market.

The S&P 500 finished the week higher despite logging its biggest daily decline in almost three months Monday following worrying news from Europe.

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The index fell 1.2 percent that day as bond yields in Spain and Italy rose on concern that the region's politicians will drag Europe back into crisis. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's cautious comments about the region's economy also weighed on markets Thursday.

"Everybody seems to be saying this market needs to correct," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Banyan Partners. "Nobody wants to be in it, but nobody wants to be out of it."

Largely positive corporate earnings reports and a report that showed that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed sharply in December provided more fuel for the market's advance Friday.

The trade deficit fell nearly 21 percent in December from November to $38.6 billion, the smallest in nearly three years, as exports rose while oil imports plummeted. The smaller trade gap means the economy likely performed better in the final three months of last year than first reported last week.

"The trade balance was surprisingly very good," said Phil Orlando, chief market strategist at Federated Investors.

The government estimated that the U.S. economy contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the last three months of 2012. Orlando estimates that may now be revised to growth of 0.5 percent.

Shares of LinkedIn, the online professional networking service, jumped $26.39, or 21.3 percent, to $150.40 after the company reported fourth-quarter results late Thursday that beat analysts' forecasts. AOL soared $2.31 to $33.72 after the Internet company said its quarterly revenue grew for the first time in eight years, helped by strength in worldwide advertising.

Currently, analysts are expecting earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012 to rise 6.5 percent for S&P 500 companies, according to data from S&P Capital I&Q. That's an increase from the 2.4 percent growth rate recorded for the preceding quarter.

Stocks have benefited as investors poured a net $4.1 billion into stock mutual funds since the start of the year, according to data provided by Lipper.

"I'm very encouraged by the fact, that finally, for the first time in many years, individual investors seem to be participating in this," said David Kelly, chief global strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds.

The yield on the 10-year note, which moves inversely to its price, fell one basis point to 1.95 percent.

Trading volume was light as Wall Street braced for what is forecast to be the largest winter storm in more than a year. Up to 2 feet of snow forecast along the densely populated Interstate 95 corridor from the New York City area to Boston and beyond.

Among other stocks making big moves;

- Microchip Technology, a semiconductor maker, jumped $2.45, or 7.2 percent, to $36.39 after its earnings beat estimates. The company said it was seeing "exceptionally strong" bookings.

- Moody's slumped $3.62, or 7.7 percent, to $43.37 even after reporting that fourth-quarter net income jumped 66 percent and revenue blew away expectations. Many are expecting the ratings agency will be the next target of the Justice Department, which filed a suit against rival Standard & Poor's for its actions before the housing market collapse.

- Activision Blizzard, which makes "Call of Duty" and other video games, rose $1.35, or 11.2 percent, to $13.41. The company posted sharply higher earnings and revenue in the fourth quarter, surpassing Wall Street's expectations.

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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 22, 2016
  • 1.
    4.0/14
  • 2.
    1.7/6
  • 3.
    1.3/5
  • 4.
    0.9/3
  • 5.
    0.6/2
  • 6.
    0.3/1
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

  • Rob Owen

    Easily fall’s best broadcast network comedy pilot, NBC’s The Good Place offers a clever high-concept premise that’s complemented with intelligent, sometimes absurdist humor. Created by Michael Schur, co-creator of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, The Good Place is a highly serialized series that’s essentially set in heaven and stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. NBC made five episodes of The Good Place available for review, and the show not only holds up, but also it improves, deepening characters that initially feel one-note and frequently leaving viewers guessing with cliffhanger endings to many of the episodes. The combination of snappy dialogue and winning but flawed characters makes The Good Place a great bet for fans of smart TV comedy.

  • Maureen Ryan

    Pitch has swagger, for good reason. It gets the big things right; the Fox drama about the first female baseball player in the Major Leagues is one of the year’s most assured and exciting debuts. But part of what impresses about the pilot is also the way it confidently strings together so many small but telling details. Ginny (Kylie Bunbury) is the first woman to be called up from the minors to the big leagues, and no show since Friday Night Lights has done a better job of portraying the internal and external pressures that weigh heavily on young athletes asked to do much more than merely succeed on the field. Pitch will likely do a good job of getting viewers to root for it. The hope is that the show won’t be an impressive, short-lived curiosity, but rather a long-term phenomenon.

  • Kevin Fallon

    In a fall TV season that’s already making a splash for championing diverse, distinctive voices in an array of projects that they created, wrote, and starred in, Better Things on FX stands out. The show is created by, written by, and starsPamela Adlon. She plays Sam Fox, the single mother of three daughters modeled after her own reality-show-ready experience raising three girls in Los Angeles following a divorce. Sam is also, like Adlon, a working actress — on shows both raunchy, a la Californication, and animated for children, like her role on Recess. It’s a refreshingly blunt take on single motherhood without sacrificing the warmth of parental love, portraying the dance between selfishness and selflessness that’s at the heart of being a parent — especially one weathering the hormonal fireworks of a household of four women at different ages.

  • David Wiegand

    The fall TV season doesn’t count as much as it used to — we already know that. But no matter how many retreads the broadcast networks throw at viewers in the next few months, this fall will be memorable because of the premiere of Atlanta on Tuesday, Sept. 6, on FX. The half-hour comedy created by and starring Donald Glover (Community), simply and brilliantly recalibrates our expectations of what a TV comedy is and how black lives are portrayed on the medium.

  • Louisa Ada Seltzer

    The second reboot of the 1980s John Candy movie Uncle Buck, bumped by ABC from midseason, has the same tired jokes you'll find on any second-rate sitcom. Too bad, because Mike Epps is appealing and ABC would be wise to keep him around for future shows, but there’s just not enough to this show to suggest it will last past summer. It also airs against NBC’s America’s Got Talent, summer’s No. 1 program on broadcast, which may make it even harder to find an audience.

  • Neil Genzlinger

    Bryan Cranston brings his Tony Award-winning interpretation of President Lyndon B. Johnson to television in an adaptation of the Robert Schenkkan play All the Way, and it’s still quite a sight to behold, just as it was on Broadway in 2014. Nothing beats witnessing this kind of larger-than-life portrayal onstage, of course. But the television version, presented by HBO, offers plenty of rewards, allowing Cranston to work the close-ups and liberating him from the confines of a theater set. Cranston’s performance is a gem — in his hands, this accidental president comes across as an amazing bundle of contradictions, someone who seems at once too vulgar for the job and just right for it.

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