U.S. stocks rose, with benchmark gauges extending records, as investors assessed data on factory production amid speculation the Federal Reserve will maintain the pace of its monthly bond buying.
Exxon Mobil Corp. gained 1.3 percent after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. disclosed a stake. FedEx Corp. climbed 1.4 percent after billionaire investorsGeorge Soros andJohn Paulson took positions. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increased at least 7.2 percent as Bill Ackman’s hedge fund disclosed stakes in the government-backed mortgage insurers. Western Union Co. dropped 5.3 percent after the company said its chief financial officer is leaving.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.1 percent to 1,792.72 at 1:20 p.m. in New York. The gauge has gained 1.3 percent this week, poised for its sixth straight advance, the longest rally since February. The Dow added 48.30 points, or 0.3 percent, to 15,924.52. Trading in S&P 500shares was 8.1 percent higher than the 30-day average for this time of day.
Janet Yellen’s remarks yesterday told investors that “interest rates are going to remain low for a while, which is a positive environment for equities,” John Fox, director of research at Fenimore Asset Management in Cobleskill, New York, said by phone. Fenimore oversees about $1.8 billion. “The combination of earnings growth and expanded PE due to investors feeling better about things just continues to move the market higher.”