US stocks resume upward climb; S&P 500 at new record

NEW YORK (AFP) - US stocks pushed higher Friday (July 22), resuming their upward climb and shrugging off some disappointing earnings results as the S&P 500 closed at a record.

Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank, said the market was back in buying mode after Thursday’s declines.

“It’s more of a trend-following trade going on. There’s nothing fundamentally that I could see that would cause stocks to go higher,” he said.

The gains came despite a drop in oil prices and lackluster earnings news from General Electric and Boeing, Ablin said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 per cent to 18,570.85.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.5 per cent to 2,175.03, a new record, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.5 per cent to 5,100.16.

Dow component General Electric fell 1.6 per cent due to disappointment over the level of industrial orders announced with second-quarter earnings.

American Airlines rose 4 per cent as it reported operating expenses shrank due to a 25 per cent drop in fuel expenses.

Schlumberger advanced 2 per cent despite reporting a second-quarter loss of US$2.2 billion as it said it believes the oil services market has bottomed.

Chipotle Mexican Grill gained 5.8 per cent despite reporting an 81.7 per cent drop in second-quarter earnings to US$25.6 million due to a slowdown in sales following food safety problems. Analysts predicted sales would pick up as the problems recede.

Other companies to report quarterly earnings included Honeywell International, down 2.6 per cent, PayPal Holdings, down 6.8 per cent and Advanced Micro Devices, up 11.9 per cent.