Summary: Upbeat economic data drives the S&P 500 to a new record; Bank of America reaches $17b settlement; Family Dollar rejects Dollar General bid in favor of Dollar Tree, Sears reports yet another loss. Bobbi Rebell reports.
The S&P crossed into record territory- the major indexes all closing with gains. Hewlett-Packard the biggest boost to the S&P 500- after a surprise increase in quarterly revenue. Markets looking towards Janet Yellen's speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Friday. James E. Coffey Securities' Greg Keating: SOUNDBITE: GREG KEATING, SENIOR EQUITY SALES TRADER, JAMES E. COFFEY SECURITIES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The speech will revolve around the labor market. But what the markets participants should really be looking for are any hints as to when that rate hike is going to happen." Economic data pointing to steady economic improvement- Existing home sales rose to a 10-month high. And the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits fell. And Markit's U.S. manufacturing index came in at its highest level since April of 2010. Bank of America has reached a near-$17 billion dollar settlement with U.S. regulators- related to charges it misled investors into buying troubled mortgage-backed securities. Shares rose on the news. Family Dollar rejected Dollar General's $9 billion takeover offer- citing antitrust concerns- and confirmed its support for a buyout offer from Dollar Tree. Separately, Dollar Tree reported lower profits- blaming higher costs. Sears stock tumbled after it reported its ninth straight quarterly loss. European Markets rose- boosted by better-than-expected German private sector growth.