Stocks closed higher for a third-straight session in choppy trading Thursday, with the S&P 500 hitting its best level since May, but gains were limited following some disappointing economic reports that underscored ongoing weakness in the recovery.
"Although we are a bit above 1,375 resistance on the S&P 500, the market may be due for some consolidation given the lagging breadth and the flat Russell 2000," wrote Elliot Spar, market strategist at Stifel Nicolaus. "You should consider some selective profit taking or hedging in this area."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 34.66 points, or 0.27 percent, to finish at 12,943.36, led by IBM and United Tech. BofA and AmEx tumbled.
The S&P 500 added 3.73 points, or 0.27 percent, to finish at 1,376.51, hitting its best level in more than two months. The Nasdaq climbed 23.30 points, or 0.79 percent, to end at 2,965.90.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, ended below 16.
Among the key S&P sectors, techs and materials rallied, while telecoms and banks sagged.Page 1 of 5 | Next Page