US stocks continue record rise amid Fed speculation

November 16, 2013 6:47 pm

US stocks advanced on Friday, as benchmark indexes extended its records, wrapping up sixth week of gains, as investors assessed data on factory output along with Yellen’s comments on the Fed’s monthly stimulus.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.4% to 1,798.18 at 4 p.m. in New York. The benchmark index added 1.6% in the past five days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 85.48 points, or 0.5%, to 15,961.70, a third straight record. About 6.1 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges today, in line with the three-month average.

“We do believe the market is probably more than 10% overvalued right now. But that said, it would appear that we have accelerating economy, enormous liquidity and favorable momentum,” said for Wall Street Journal, Jack Ablin, who works as chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank. Mr. Ablin’s team has maintained a bullish strategy on U.S. stocks this year.

Economic data on Friday showed manufacturing in the New York region unexpectedly declined in November. A separate report showed total industrial production in the U.S. fell 0.1% in October mainly due to output declines at mines and utilities. Factory output rose more than forecast. Wholesale inventories widened by 0.4% in September.

In corporate world, Exxon, the world’s biggest oil company by market value, advanced 2.2%to a record $95.27, for the Dow’s biggest rise as Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway reported a stake valued at about $3.7 billion.

Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. rose 12% to $14.59 after the company won the support of U.S. advisers for an experimental drug to regulate the circadian rhythms of blind people to help them sleep. Jefferies analyst Oren Livnat issued a “buy” rating and raised the price target to $20 from $13.

Western Union lost 4.3% after announcing its CFO is leaving the company at the end of the year. The departure comes right after last month’s disclosure stating the company no longer expects growth in operating earnings next year due to compliance-related costs.

General Electric Co. gained 0.8% to $27.20. The company said it will sell as much 20% of its North American consumer lending business in an initial public offering in 2014, as Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt diminished reliance on financial profits.

Meanwhile, European markets closed higher, with the Stoxx Europe 600 rising 0.2%.  Asian markets advanced. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average climbed 2% to close above 15000 for the first time since May as a weaker yen boosted exporters’ shares. China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.7% amid hopes the government will release plans for state-run companies.

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