Stocks Inch Higher, Send S&P 500 to Another Record

NEW YORK (AP) -

Stocks ticked higher Monday as investors looked past this weekend’s failed coup attempt in Turkey and nudged the Standard & Poor’s 500 index to another record.

The S&P 500 rose 5.15 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,166.89. It was the fifth time in the last six days that the index set a closing high. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 16.50, or 0.1 percent, to 18,533.05. The Nasdaq composite rose 26.19, or 0.5 percent, to 5,055.78.

The stock market has been on a mostly upward swing since February, after shrugging off worries about fragile economies overseas, weaker profits at home and sundry other challenges. Add one more to the list: Friday’s military uprising in Turkey.

Currency traders had the first chance to react to the attempted coup, after most stock markets were closed late Friday. The initial reaction was one of fear. But by the time stock markets around the world opened for trading Monday, most reacted with a shrug, and the Turkish lira recovered some of its steep losses.

Technology stocks led the way, rising 0.7 percent after SoftBank Group agreed to buy British chip designer ARM Holdings for $32 billion. ARM’s U.S.-listed shares soared $19.09, or 40.6 percent, to $66.17.

Financial stocks gained after BoFA reported earnings that were better than analysts were expecting. Banks have been struggling with low interest rates, which limit the profits they can earn from making loans.

BofA nevertheless reported a smaller decline in earnings than analysts forecast, due in part to higher trading revenue and cost cuts.

The day atop the leaderboard for tech and bank stocks marks a turnaround from their performance earlier this year. Financial stocks are the only sector of the S&P 500’s 10 that are still down for 2016, while technology has made one of the smallest gains.

For much of the year, investors have flocked instead to industries seen as offering a steadier ride. These are also ones that tend to pay the biggest dividends. Telecom stocks are up 22.1 percent, versus the S&P 500’s 6 percent rise.

Much of that demand likely came from investors seeking alternatives to bonds, which are paying only small amounts of interest. The Federal Reserve raised the target for its benchmark short-term interest rate in December for the first time since 2006, but economists have since been pushing out their predictions for when the next increase may occur.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury ticked higher Monday, to 1.58 percent from 1.55 percent late Friday. A slew of other companies are scheduled to report their quarterly earnings this week. Analysts have dim expectations, with forecasts for a fourth consecutive decline in earnings, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Precious and industrial metals prices ended mixed. Gold rose $1.90 to $1,329.30 an ounce, silver lost 9 cents to $20.08 an ounce and copper edged up less than 1 cent to $2.24 a pound.

The price of crude oil fell 71 cents to settle at $45.24 per barrel. Brent fell 65 cents to $46.96 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 3 cents to $1.39 a barrel, heating oil lost 2 cents to $1.38 a gallon and natural gas fell 3 cents to $2.72 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The dollar fell against many of its major rivals, except for the Japanese yen. The dollar rose to 106.12 yen from 105.53 yen.