November 29, 2023

Stocks & Bonds: Wall Street Higher After G.D.P. Report

Insurers led the gains as Allstate, Aflac and Lincoln National posted earnings that topped estimates. Sprint Nextel rallied 6.68 percent after it reported a narrower loss.

The Dow Jones industrial average rise 72.35 points, or 0.57 percent, to 12,763.31. The S. P. 500 climbed 0.36 percent to 1,360.48.

“Corporate America has managed to do very well in this environment of sluggish growth,” said Randy Bateman, chief investment officer of Huntington Asset Management in Columbus, Ohio. “Earnings are beating estimates. Companies are adding value to their shareholders. There are just not that many alternatives that can compete with corporate America at this point.”

The rise comes a day after stocks rallied on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve renewed its pledge to stimulate growth with low interest rates.

The S. P. climbed to an almost three-year high on Wednesday, and the Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks reached a record after the central bank renewed its pledge to keep interest rates near zero to stimulate the economy. The Federal Open Market Committee agreed to finish $600 billion of Treasury purchases in June.

Another round of buying is not needed to sustain the rally and there will not be an economic slump in the second half, predicted Mark Mobius, the executive chairman of Templeton Asset Management’s emerging markets group.

“We are in a bull market and it will continue,” Mr. Mobius said. “There will be corrections along the way, but these will be very temporary. The consumer in Europe and America is back. They’re not spending like crazy but they are spending.”

The S. P. 500 insurance index rose 1.7 percent, the biggest gain within 24 groups, as 21 of its 22 stocks rallied.

Constellation Energy Group climbed 5.71 percent to $36.26. Exelon Corporation, the operator of nuclear power plants, agreed to buy the power producer for about $7.9 billion in stock, adding stakes in five reactors and becoming the largest electricity marketer in the United States.

Over all, there have been more than 8,000 deals announced globally this year, totaling $794.7 billion, a 26 percent increase from the $629.7 billion in the same period in 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Boeing gained 3.19 percent, the most in the Dow, to $78.55. Citigroup raised its share-price estimate for the world’s largest aerospace company to $90, citing positive momentum over the next several years.

The home builder PulteGroup. gained 3.26 percent to $8.24. Pulte forecast profit in the second half of the year. The company focused on cutting costs in the face of weak demand for new homes. Selling, general and administrative expenses for the quarter decreased 10 percent from a year earlier to $136 million. The rate of cancellations declined and visits to the company’s sale centers increased, Richard J. Dugas, chairman and chief executive, said.

Energy shares had the biggest decline in the S. P. 500, falling 0.2 percent as a group.

ConocoPhillips slumped 2.98 percent to $77.45. The company was cut to “hold” at Deutsche Bank, which cited disappointment with first-quarter earnings and said that the outperformance potential was limited.

Akamai Technologies Inc. tumbled 14.74 percent to $34.94. Traffic growth in the company’s volume business has “moderated,” and it was “too early” to predict the pace of growth for the rest of the year, said its chief executive, Paul Sagan.

The Treasury’s 10-year note fell 12/32, to 102 19/32. The yield fell to 3.31 percent, from 3.36 percent late Wednesday.

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