S&P 500 finishes just shy of 5,000 after latest push

NEW YORK – The S&P 500 flirted with a landmark new peak on Feb 8, but finished just shy of 5,000 points following another round of solid earnings.

Shares of Disney rocketed up 11.5 per cent as the entertainment giant reported better-than-expected profits, disclosed it is buying a stake in Fortnite maker Epic Games and announced a dividend hike and new share repurchase programme.

The S&P 500 got to within less than a half point of 5,000 before retreating.

The broad-based index ended at 4,997.91, up 0.1 per cent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also edged up 0.1 per cent to 38,726.33, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.2 per cent to 15,793.72.

Mr Angelo Kourkafas, of Edward Jones, said next week’s consumer price index report could be the catalyst that lifts the S&P 500 above the 5,000-point threshold.

“It’s just a number but it’s symbolic of the strength that we have seen in equities given what else is going on,” Mr Kourkafas said. “Nothing points to the trend being over.”

British chip designer Arm surged nearly 48 per cent as it boosted its forecast in light of robust demand for “all things” artificial intelligence.

Mattel climbed 0.3 per cent after the Barbie-maker reported higher profits and revenues.

PayPal sank 11.2 per cent on disappointment over the company’s outlook as it contends with intensifying competition in the payments markets. AFP

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