S&P 500's small gain logs another record
NEW YORK -- The Standard & Poor's 500 index notched another record close on Monday by a tiny margin as good news from J.C. Penney helped offset disappointing earnings from several U.S. companies.
J.C. Penney was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500 after the retailer's CEO said sales were improving. Merck fell after the drugmaker sharply lowered its earnings forecast for the year and reported a plunge in third-quarter earnings. Roper Industries, a medical and industrial equipment manufacturer, dropped after lowering its full-year earnings estimate.
The S&P 500 has closed at an all-time high six times in October. The index was boosted earlier in the month by a deal in Washington that ended a partial government shutdown and prevented a potential default on the U.S. government's debt. Stocks have also climbed because companies have been able to keep increasing their earnings even as the economy failed to escape stall speed.
The S&P 500 rose 2.34 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,762.11. The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 1.35 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 15,568.93. The Nasdaq composite closed down 3.23 points, or 0.1 percent, at 3,940.13.
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