S&P 500 hits five-year high, extends rally
Currently, analysts are expecting earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012 to rise 6.5 percent for S&P 500 companies, according to data from S&P Capital I&Q. That's an increase from the 2.4 percent growth rate recorded for the preceding quarter.
Stocks have benefited as investors poured a net $4.1 billion into stock mutual funds since the start of the year, according to data provided by Lipper.
"I'm very encouraged by the fact, that finally, for the first time in many years, individual investors seem to be participating in this," said David Kelly, chief global strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds.
The yield on the 10-year note, which moves inversely to its price, fell one basis point to 1.95 percent.
Trading volume was light as Wall Street braced for what is forecast to be the largest winter storm in more than a year. Up to 2 feet of snow forecast along the densely populated Interstate 95 corridor from the New York City area to Boston and beyond.
Among other stocks making big moves;
— Microchip Technology, a semiconductor maker, jumped $2.45, or 7.2 percent, to $36.39 after its earnings beat estimates. The company said it was seeing "exceptionally strong" bookings.
— Moody's slumped $3.62, or 7.7 percent, to $43.37 even after reporting that fourth-quarter net income jumped 66 percent and revenue blew away expectations. Many are expecting the ratings agency will be the next target of the Justice Department, which filed a suit against rival Standard & Poor's for its actions before the housing market collapse.
— Activision Blizzard, which makes "Call of Duty" and other video games, rose $1.35, or 11.2 percent, to $13.41. The company posted sharply higher earnings and revenue in the fourth quarter, surpassing Wall Street's expectations.
Business Photo Galleriesview all
- 90847Oklahoma weather: Severe storm updates
- 47098Oklahoma tornadoes: 'It took it all'
- 38051Oklahoma devastated by second round of twisters
- 30921Oklahoma State football: Limiting Wes Lunt's transfer options makes Mike Gundy look bad
- 13823Oklahoma City tornado so large, may not be recognized, officials say
- 12196Several kids pulled out of Oklahoma school rubble alive
- 11468How to help tornado victims