Banks boosted as US stocks rise for fourth day in a row
US stocks have risen for the fourth day in a row as they continued to recover the ground they lost last week, with major indexes approaching record highs again.
Most of the gains went to banks, which surged as bond yields jumped. T his will allow them to charge higher rates on loans.
Banks took steep losses last Wednesday, when stocks had their worst day since September.
Scientific instrument companies and drugmakers also rose. However, car parts companies were hammered after poor third-quarter results from AutoZone, and home builders fell after sales of new homes sank in April.
The four-day rally has restored most of the market's losses and the Standard & Poor's 500 index is almost back to record highs.
Matthew Peterson, chief wealth strategist for LPL Financial, said: "The market was simply reminded that there's political risk out there and it reacted to that reminder."
Mr Peterson said he does not think long-term investors have made big changes to their portfolios in response to last week's drop, which followed allegations President Donald Trump asked the FBI to end an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Mr Peterson said high stock prices and the calm market makes stocks more vulnerable to surprises from the political arena.
The S&P 500 added 4.40 points, or 0.2%, to 2,398.42.
The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 43.08 points, or 0.2%, to 20,937.91.
The Nasdaq composite rose 5.09 points, or 0.1%, to 6,138.71. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks gained 3.84 points, or 0.3%, to 1,380.98.
Bond prices turned lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.28% from 2.25%. That helped bank stocks like JPMorgan Chase, which gained 1.06 dollars, or 1.3%, to 85.76 dollars, and BB&T, which rose 63 cents, or 1.5%, to 43.03 dollars.
Scientific instrument maker Agilent Technologies raised its annual profit forecast after its second-quarter profit and sales beat Wall Street estimates.
Its shares gained 2.58 dollars, or 4.6%, to 58.66 dollars. Industrial and medical device maker Danaher picked up 1.04 dollars, or 1.3%, to 83.95 dollars.
Car parts retailer AutoZone took its worst one-day loss in eight and a half years as high costs and lower sales at older locations hurt its results.
Its stock fell 78.09 dollars, or 11.8%, to 581.40 dollars. O'Reilly Automotive sank 8.28 dollars, or 3.3%, to 240.18 dollars and Advance Auto Parts gave up 6.71 dollars, or 4.6%, to 140.66 dollars. All have tumbled this year as investors worried about slowing car sales.
Video game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software jumped after its fourth-quarter profit and sales surpassed analysts' expectations.
The company's games include the Grand Theft Auto, NBA2K and Sid Meier's Civilization franchises.
Take-Two stock jumped 3.79 dollars, or 5.5%, to 72.83 dollars, and it has doubled over the last year.
Rival Activision Blizzard added 68 cents, or 1.2%, to 57.80 dollars, and Electronic Arts rose 62 cents to 109.01 dollars.
Nokia climbed after the company said it settled its legal disputes with Apple. The two companies said they will work together and that Nokia will get a cash payment from Apple. The Finnish company was once the biggest cellphone maker in the world, but it sold its mobile phone business to Microsoft in 2014 and is now a network infrastructure provider. Its US shares rose 33 cents, or 5.3%, to 6.54 dollars.
Fiat Chrysler sank after the US government sued the carmaker, saying some of diesel pick-up trucks and Jeep SUVs included software that cheated emissions tests.
The Department of Justice said the software let the vehicles' engines emit more pollution on the road than during Environmental Protection Agency lab testing.