S&P 500 snaps losing streak as industrial, tech stocks rise

Associated Press 

US stock indexes perked higher on Thursday following a nearly weeklong lull, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 rising for the first time in five days.

Industrial and technology companies helped lead the way, as broad swaths of the market climbed. Nearly two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.


The S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent, to 2,636.98, and snapped its longest losing streak since March. Losses through that span were modest, though, with the index down 0.7 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.3 percent, to 24,211.48, the Nasdaq gained 0.5 percent, to 6,812.84, and the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks added 0.8 percent, to 1,520.47.

The gains were a return to form for a stock market that had been driving higher on expectations Congress will push through an overhaul of the tax system. This week, investors have been trying to shift to the areas of the market they see ultimately benefiting the most, which led to some ups and downs.

Stocks may continue to drift until investors get more clarity on what the final tax proposal will be, said Tom Stringfellow, chief investment officer at Frost Investment Advisors. ‘‘The market has already been bid up on anticipation of this, and the real test will be what do both houses come up with and what is put on the president’s desk to sign,’’ he said.

In the meantime, a strengthening global economy and climbing corporate earnings are supporting stock prices.


Technology stocks were some of the market’s better performers, shaking off an uncharacteristic weak stretch. The industry stumbled earlier this week on expectations it will benefit less from lower tax rates than financial companies, retailers, and others.

Tech stocks in the S&P 500 rose 0.6 percent, trimming their loss for the week to 0.3 percent. They are up nearly 36 percent for the year, double the S&P 500’s gain.

Energy stocks recovered some of their losses from a day earlier as the price of oil ticked higher.

Benchmark US crude added 73 cents to settle at $56.69 per barrel and recovered a chunk of its $1.66 loss from Thursday. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 98 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $62.20 in London. That helped energy stocks in the S&P 500 rise 0.3 percent.

More evidence that the job market is strengthening arrived after a government report showed that fewer workers filed for unemployment benefits last week. The numbers are considered a proxy for layoffs, and they offer an encouraging sign that the US labor market continues to improve. On Friday, the government will release its closely watched monthly jobs report.