Jan 25 - Summary of business headlines: The S&P 500 closed above 1,500 for the first time in more than five years as quarterly results from Procter & Gamble soothe worries; Apple loses spot as world's most valuable company. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The S&P 500 is now less than 5 percent from setting lifetime highs as the earnings season gives the bulls a reason to hold the reigns. The Dow is up 11 out of 12 sessions, while the S&P 500 enjoys its longest winning streak in 8 years, even techs were higher. Blue chips gained 1.8 percent on the week and the Nasdaq half of one percent. Jim Awad of Plimsoll Mark is a believer in this bull market. SOUNDBITE: JIM AWAD, CHAIRMAN, PLIMSOLL MARK (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Because the U.S. economy is doing better than expected, profits look like they are going to grow, the consumer is doing fine, unemployment is coming down, there are very low returns on bonds and cash, most people are underinvested and stocks are reasonably valued - many of them with good dividends, so unless Washington mucks it up the line of least resistance - stocks are going to keep going up." Procter and Gamble easily beat quarterly forecasts and guided full-year sales and profit targets higher. The growth came from new products and better pricing. Shares of the world's largest household products maker up 4 percent... Shares of Halliburton, the world's second-largest oilfield services company, jumped 5 percent after global demand lifted earnings... Honeywell's fourth-quarter profit topped forecast and sales were up as well - leading to a small gain in that stock. Apple is in jeopardy of losing its stock market crown. Shares have tumbled almost 40 percent since a record peak last year on worries the best may be over. That weakness - handing old-school ExxonMobil back the title as the world's most valuable company. A small pullback on the homefront, sales of new homes dipped in the U.S. last month but full-year sales reached a three-year high. Finally, European stocks rallied on the back of firmer business sentiment numbers out of Germany.