February 23, 2013 in City

HP results help push stocks higher

Kate Gibson And Polya Lesova MarketWatch

NEW YORK – U.S. stocks rallied on Friday after better-than-expected results from personal-computer maker Hewlett-Packard Co. and an upbeat report on German business confidence.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 119.95 points, or 0.9 percent, to end at 14,000.57, leaving it up 0.1 percent for the week.

HP led Dow gains a day after the company projected a second-quarter profit and reported quarterly revenue that topped estimates. Shares of HP surged 12 percent.

Wall Street also found support from a survey of German business executives showing sentiment in February rose to its highest reading since April.

Recovering some of the losses sustained during the past two sessions – its worst two-day drop since early November – the Standard & Poor’s index climbed 13.18 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,515.60.

For the week, however, the S&P 500 fell 0.3 percent, snapping its seven-week winning streak, its longest such stretch since the one that ended Jan. 14, 2011.

“The general advice is to watch for a shorter-term correction, but recognize we may not be there yet. This market may not be ready yet to give up the ghost,” said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank.

McCain is among the market strategists who believe equities are in need of a pullback to digest recent gains, saying a return by the S&P 500 to 1,400 or below would be reasonable, and would allow the benchmark index to move on to yearly gains of 10 percent to 15 percent.

The Nasdaq composite gained 30.33 points, or 1 percent, to end at 3,161.82; for the week, the index dropped 1 percent.

Among individual stock movers, Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. was among the top gainers in the S&P 500. Its shares rallied 11 percent after the oil and gas producer reported a 55 percent surge in fourth-quarter earnings.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. led decliners in the S&P 500, with its shares down 4.5 percent after the clothing retailer’s disappointing full-year outlook spooked investors.

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