(Reuters) – The S&P 500 rose on Monday as results from Berkshire Hathaway boosted optimism about a strong earnings season, while gains for Facebook on a report that it was planning to offer new services, lifted the tech-heavy Nasdaq index.
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
The benchmark S&P index notched up its first five-week run of gains this year on Friday as robust corporate earnings helped investors shrug off worries about U.S. trade policies.
The index is about 20 points away from a record high of 2872.87 it hit on Jan. 26.
“When you have all these headwinds and to get back to the highs seen in January, it is a sign of the markets’ ability to shrug off negativity and focus on much better earnings growth,” said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc rose 3.7 percent after the Warren Buffett-led conglomerate reported a 67 percent surge in quarterly operating profit.
The S&P financial index rose 0.6 percent, providing the biggest boost to the S&P 500.
Tyson Foods gained 3.2 percent after the No. 1 U.S. meat processor beat analysts’ quarterly profit estimates on strong demand for beef.
Of the 413 S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far, 79.2 percent have topped earnings estimates, according to Thomson Reuters data. That is well above the average of 72 percent for the past four quarters.
At 13:00 ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 63.03 points, or 0.25 percent, at 25,525.61, the S&P 500 was up 11.28 points, or 0.40 percent, at 2,851.63 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 39.33 points, or 0.50 percent, at 7,851.34.
Facebook gained 3.4 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported the company had asked large U.S. banks to share detailed financial information about their customers, as part of an effort to offer new services to users.
Facebook, along with high-growth technology names Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet have driven the markets to record highs.
PepsiCo rose 1.6 percent after the company said Ramon Laguarta, a company veteran with experience in international markets, would succeed Indra Nooyi as chief executive officer.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.73-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.69-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 19 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 65 new highs and 58 new lows.
Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Shounak Dasgupta