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S&P 500 Ekes Out Record High           07/23 16:17

   The stock market eked out a record high Wednesday, as investors weighed 
positive earnings from the technology industry against disappointing news from 
Boeing and other companies.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- The stock market eked out a record high Wednesday, as 
investors weighed positive earnings from the technology industry against 
disappointing news from Boeing and other companies.

   Apple's earnings topped Wall Street expectations, helped by rising shipments 
of iPhones. Microsoft also reported results that beat forecasts.

   So far, with less than a fourth of U.S.-listed companies reporting their 
quarterly financial performance, results have been coming in better than 
expected. About 72 percent of Standard & Poor's 500 companies that have 
reported earnings have beaten expectations, and 73 percent have beaten sales 
forecasts.

   "It's a little early, but things seem to be coming in OK," said Sahak 
Manuelian, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities.

   Investors have become increasingly optimistic about the latest quarter. On 
June 30, they expected earnings to rise 4.9 percent from a year earlier. They 
now expect earnings to increase 5.5 percent.

   The S&P 500 rose 3.48 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 1,987.01, beating 
its previous record from July 3 by less than two points.

   The Nasdaq composite rose 17.68 points, or 0.4 percent, to end at 4,473.70.

   The Dow Jones industrial average bucked the trend. It fell 26.91 points, or 
0.2 percent, to 17,086.63, and was dragged down by Boeing.

   The aircraft maker slipped $3.03, or 2 percent, to $126.71, the biggest fall 
in the Dow, after reporting revenue that missed analysts' expectations.

   The Dow is a price-weighted index that has 30 stocks, so the movement of 
just one company can carry extra weight. Because Boeing is one of the Dow's 
most expensive stocks, it has an outsized impact.

   Biotechnology stocks, meanwhile, helped lift the other major indexes.

   Puma Biotechnology, a drug development company, soared after the company 
disclosed positive trial results for an experimental breast cancer drug. Puma 
rose $174.40, or 295 percent, to $233.43. Biogen Idec rose $33.93, or 11 
percent, to $337.60 after its quarterly results came in above investors' 
expectations.

   Unlike last week, investors were less focused on turmoil in Israel and 
Ukraine. However, market strategists say that with markets trading at all-time 
highs, any bad news could weigh on U.S. stocks.

   "Geopolitical flare-ups, European bank-related market jitters, today's 
stretched valuations and relatively low market volatility leave (the market) 
vulnerable," Russ Koesterich, chief investment strategist at Blackrock, wrote 
in a note to investors.

   In other markets, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note was unchanged at 
2.47 percent from Tuesday. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 17 cents to $104.42 a 
barrel.

   Among significant stock moves:

   -- Apple rose $2.47, or 2.6 percent, to $97.19 after reporting late Tuesday 
that its profit rose by 12 percent in its latest quarter.

   -- Electronic Arts fell $2.38, or 6.2 percent, to $36.04. The video game 
publisher reported a 51 percent rise in earnings late Tuesday, but said it will 
delay the release of the latest version of its popular "Battlefield" title 
until 2015, missing the crucial holiday season.


(KA)


 
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