The S&P 500 closed higher Thursday for the eighth straight session, buoyed by a rally in financial and utility shares. Fred Katayama reports.
Make it four in a row: Wall Street's three big indexes rising to fresh record high yet again Thursday. 8th in a row for the S&P. Utilities and financial stocks leading the rally, which was aided by strong economic data. U.S. Bank senior portfolio manager Eric Wiegand: SOUNDBITE: ERIC WIEGAND, SENIOR PORTFOLIO MANAGER, U.S. BANK, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Today, you know, the real difference has been in the financials continuing to show strength. Technology's working well so that a return to the fore for financials and technology has really been in a leadership role throughout the year." More signs of strength in the economy: The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in August. Jobless claims fell more than expected last week. And new orders for manufactured goods rose in August. Among the day's top gainers on the S&P 500: Constellation Brands and Netflix. Strong demand for beer, especially its Corona and Modelo brands, drove Constellation's quarterly profit up 42 percent. Netflix's stock rose after the video streaming company hiked its monthly fees for some of its subscription plans. Microsoft rose after its shares were upgraded to "buy" from Canaccord Genuity. Utilities and energy shares pulled markets higher in Europe. But the German DAX finished just below break-even.