US STOCKS-S&P 500 ends at a record as Fed optimism lingers

Reuters - UK Focus

* Initial jobless claims fall in latest week

* Coach (NYSE: COH - news) shares sink after revenue forecast

* BlackBerry (Berlin: RI1.BE - news) jumps after earnings

* Dow up 0.1 pct; S&P 500 up 0.1 pct; Nasdaq down 0.1 pct (Updates to close)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Frankfurt: HX6.F - news) , June 19 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 ended at anotherrecord high on Thursday, extending gains for a fifth day oninvestors' optimism that the Federal Reserve will keep interestrates low for a long period of time.

The S&P 500's gain was slim, however, with the benchmarkindex recovering late in the session from earlier losses.Retailers, including Coach, weighed on the index.

The Dow also eked out a gain, while the Nasdaq slipped a dayafter the Fed lowered its forecast for target U.S. interestrates in the long term

The CBOE Volatility Index or the VIX, Wall Street'sfear barometer, bounced back slightly, ending up 0.1 percent at10.62, a day after closing at its lowest since February 2007.

"The equity market rallied to an all-time high yesterday soit's hard to describe it as nervous. I think the pullback thismorning was probably more related to just a small bout ofprofit-taking," said Randy Frederick, managing director ofactive trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab (Frankfurt: SWG.F - news) in Austin,Texas.

Energy shares ranked among the biggest gainers. Oil pricesended higher after President Barack Obama said he was sending upto 300 U.S. military advisers to Iraq as the Iraqi government'stroops fought Sunni rebels for control of the country's biggestrefinery. Shares of Chevron Corp added1.3 percent to $131.99.

Coach Inc's stock slid 8.9 percent to $35.69 and wasthe S&P 500's biggest percentage decliner. The S&P consumerdiscretionary index slipped 0.2 percent.

The upscale retailer, known for its handbags, said during aninvestor day presentation that it expected revenue to fall bylow double digits in percentage terms for the year ending June2015. It also said it would close 70 underperforming stores.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 14.84 points or0.09 percent, to end at 16,921.46. The S&P 500 gained2.50 points or 0.13 percent, to close at 1,959.48. The NasdaqComposite fell 3.51 points or 0.08 percent, to 4,359.33.

The advance marked the S&P 500's second record close in arow.

Shares of Pier 1 Imports (NYSE: PIR - news) tumbled 13.1 percent to$15.86 after the home decor retailer cut its full-year earningsforecast. Shares of Michael Kors Holdings Ltd, a Coach rival, fell 1.6 percent to $89.36.

"Coach and Pier 1 are having a negative impact on theconsumer sector in general and high-end retail specifically,"said Michael James, managing director of equity trading atWedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

On the plus side, U.S.-listed shares of BlackBerry Ltd jumped 9.7 percent to $9.09 after the Canadiansmartphone maker reported a smaller-than-expected first-quarterloss.

Analysts said economic data did little to influence theday's move. Initial claims for state unemployment benefitsslipped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 312,000, slightly belowthe 314,000 forecast.

Factory activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic (Frankfurt: 98S.F - news) region grew at afaster pace than expected in June. The Philadelphia FederalReserve Bank said its business activity index shot up to 17.8from 15.4 in May, above the forecast for a reading of 14.

About 5.8 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges,compared with the average of 5.4 billion for the month to date,according to data from BATS Global Markets. (Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama,Nick Zieminski and Jan Paschal)

View Comments (0)