Business Excellence Awards
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By Nick Taborek
By Nick Taborek
NEW YORK - U.S. stocks rose, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index extending a record, as results from Google Inc. and General Electric Co. topped estimates and data showed China’s economic growth accelerated.
Google rallied 13 percent to surpass $1,000 a share for the first time after reporting third-quarter sales that beat analysts’ projections. General Electric added 3.9 percent as demand for industrial products boosted earnings. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. surged 14 percent to a record as customer traffic rose. UnitedHealth Group Inc. slumped 3.3 percent, extending yesterday’s 5.1 percent slide after the insurer reported sales that fell short of analyst estimates.
The S&P 500 added 0.6 percent to 1,742.95 at 1:28 p.m. in New York. The gauge has rallied 2.3 in the past five days, headed for its biggest weekly advance since July. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 17.08 points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,388.73. Trading in S&P 500 stocks was 28 percent above the 30-day average at this time of day.
“People are looking at earnings but they’re also looking at what they think is going to happen next,” Sarah Hunt, an associate fund manager and analyst who helps oversee $4.5 billion at Purchase, N.Y.-based Alpine Woods Capital Investors LLC, said in a phone interview. “After this political problem no one is expecting this to happen again in January. People are just looking for a little bit of a better economic backdrop to continue what’s been a pretty decent environment for stocks.”
The S&P 500 closed yesterday at a record of 1,733.15 as speculation grew that the Federal Reserve will maintain its rate of asset purchases after Congress ended the standoff over the federal budget and borrowing authority. The gauge gained 2.4 percent during the 16-day closure.
Thirteen S&P 500 companies released earnings for the third quarter today. Analysts have raised their forecasts for profits during the period and now estimate an average increase of 2.5 percent for all companies in the gauge, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg today. That compares with an expected gain of 1.4 percent as of Oct. 11.