U.S. Stocks Climb to Record as Energy Shares Advance

Posted by Bloomberg

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U.S. stocks rose, pushing the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to a record, as investors bet that the economy can withstand the slowing down of the Federal Reserve’s bond-buying program.

Comcast Corp. added 1.5 percent as people familiar with the matter said Netflix Inc. agreed to pay for direct access to the cable company’s broadband network. Netflix slipped 0.5 percent. Pfizer Inc. climbed 1.6 percent after saying its community-acquired pneumonia immunization trial in adults showed positive results. Oil producers led gains among 10 main industries in the S&P 500 (SPX) with a 1.6 percent advance.

The S&P 500 increased 0.8 percent to 1,851.02 at 9:57 a.m. in New York. The equity benchmark fell 0.1 percent last week, leaving it 0.7 percent from its record and its level at the end of last year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 142.09 points, or 0.9 percent, to 16,245.39 today. Trading in S&P 500 stocks was 2 percent above the 30-day average during this time of the day.

“U.S. equities can go higher in 2014,” Drew Wilson, an investment analyst with Fenimore Asset Management in Cobleskill, New York, said in a phone interview. The firm oversees about $1.7 billion. “I believe the taper is not going to affect the real economy. I don’t know what it’ll do psychologically. I believe the fundamental recovery is real and will be strong enough to overcome the psychology.”

The S&P 500 slumped as much as 5.8 percent after reaching the highest level since its inception on Jan. 15 as investor concern about continued cuts in the Fed’s monthly asset purchases fueled a rout in emerging markets. The index hasrebounded 5.4 percent from its low on Feb. 3. It climbed to within six points of the 1,848.38 record on each day last week, without breaking through to a new high.