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Nasdaq moves into record territory as stocks gain
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NEW YORK (AP) — The Nasdaq composite crossed into record territory as U.S. stocks turned higher in afternoon trading Thursday, despite mixed earnings reports from General Motors, Procter & Gamble and others.

After a sluggish morning, the Nasdaq moved above its record close of 5,048.62 from March 2000 shortly before noon. In afternoon trading the index was up 30 points, or 0.6 percent, at 5,066.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 70 points, or 0.4 percent, to 18,108 as of 3:05 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose nine points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,117. The S&P 500 is about half a point above its own record high reached on March 2. Energy stocks were among the biggest gainers as the price of oil rose.

DOLLAR TROUBLES: Several export-heavy companies reported their results Thursday. All of them said the strong U.S. dollar hurt results.

Among the companies feeling the effects were consumer products giants Procter & Gamble and 3M. Earnings at P&G were down roughly 8 percent from a year earlier, due largely to the U.S. dollar, which makes its products more expensive when sold abroad. P&G fell $1.15, or 1.4 percent, to $81.28. 3M also reported lower profits due to the dollar. Shares of 3M fell $4.26, or 2.6 percent, to $160.43.

Caterpillar was up 45 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $85.29. While the company reported a better-than-expected profit for last quarter, it said it may face bigger issues later this year as long as the dollar remains strong.

"The results have been pretty consistent this earnings season. If you're an export-heavy company, your results have suffered from a strong dollar," said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose $1.58, or 2.8 percent, to close at $57.74 a barrel in New York. The advance helped lift energy stocks, which gained 0.9 percent. Brent crude rose $2.12 to close at $64.85 a barrel in London.

Oil has been recovering slowly from low levels it hit in March, which investors have taken as a sign that prices are starting to stabilize after a year of declines.

WEAK SURVEYS: Investors are also working through economic surveys pointing to a slowdown in manufacturing in Europe and Asia.

A survey of European manufacturing and services fell in April, due largely to weakness in France and Germany, the continent's two largest economies.

At the same time, HSBC said manufacturing in China slowed to its lowest point in a year in April. The latest sign that growth is faltering in the world's second-biggest economy will add to pressure on policymakers to act to stave off a sharper slowdown.

A similar survey in Japan indicated a third straight monthly decline in manufacturing, suggesting industries are still not in full recovery mode after the recession brought on by a sales tax increase last April.

EUROPE: European markets mostly fell. Germany's DAX lost 1.2 percent, France's CAC-40 declined 0.6 percent, and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 edged up 0.4 percent.

CURRENCIES, BONDS: The dollar fell to 119.47 yen from 119.98 yen late Wednesday. The euro rose to $1.0844 from $1.0725. Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note declined to 1.95 percent from 1.98 percent late Wednesday.

METALS: Gold rose $7.40 to $1,194.30 an ounce, silver rose 3 cents to $15.83 an ounce, and copper rose 3 cents to $2.69 a pound.