Strong earnings lift S&P 500

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NEW YORK — The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed above 1,500 on Friday for the first time since the start of the Great Recession in 2007, lifted by strong earnings from Procter & Gamble and Starbucks.

The S&P 500 rose 8.14 points to 1,502.96. It was the eighth day of gains, its longest winning streak since November 2004.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 13,895.98, up 70.65 points. The Nasdaq composite gained 19.33 points to 3,149.71.

Procter & Gamble, world’s largest consumer products maker, gained $2.83 to $73.25 after reporting that its quarterly income more than doubled. P&G also raised its profit forecast for its full fiscal year. Starbucks rose $2.24 to $56.81 after reporting a 13 percent increase in profits.

“Earnings are growing,” said Joe Tanious, a global market strategist at JPMorgan. “The bottom line is that corporate America is doing exceptionally well.”

Tanious expects corporate earnings to grow at about 5 percent over the “next year or two,” and stock valuations to rise.

Apple continued to decline, allowing Exxon Mobil to once again surpass the electronics giant as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company. Apple fell 2.4 percent to $439.88, after a 12 percent drop Thursday, the biggest one-day percentage drop for the company since 2008, after Apple forecast slower sales.

Apple first surpassed Exxon in market value in the summer of 2011, grabbing a title Exxon had held since 2005. The two traded places through that fall, until Apple surpassed Exxon in early 2012.

Stocks have surged this month, with the S&P 500 advancing 5.4 percent and the Dow Jones up 5.5 percent on the year.


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