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Small gain nets S&P 500 a new record

Oct. 22, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

NEW YORK -- The Standard & Poor's 500 index eked out the smallest of gains to set a record high Monday as investors assessed third-quarter earnings news.

Earnings will hold investors' attention this week as major U.S. companies including McDonald's, Boeing and Procter & Gamble report their results. Rising profits have been one of the key supports for this year's rally in stocks.

Toymaker Hasbro and the V.F. Corporation, which owns clothing brands including Wrangler and The North Face, were among the biggest gainers in the S&P 500 after reporting earnings that beat analysts' expectations. McDonalds dipped after reporting disappointing revenue.

The S&P 500 closed up a fraction of a point at 1,744.66, an all-time high, its third consecutive record close. Stocks climbed last week after Washington reached a deal to end a 16-day government shutdown and avert a default on the nation's debt.

The index is up 22 percent so far this year, putting it on track for its best year since 2009.

The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 7.45 points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,392.20. The Nasdaq composite rose 5.77 points, or 0.2 percent, to 3,920.05.

Stocks will likely continue adding to their gains, at least until the end of the year, as investors get more confident that the market's rally is sustainable, said Joe Bell, a senior equities analyst at Schaeffer's Investment Research.

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