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US STOCKS-Wall St jumps as banks lead S&P 500 to new high

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Tue, May 14, 2013 16:30 hrs

* Dow and S&P 500 climb to new highs, banks rally

* Nokia's U.S.-listed shares drop after unveiling new phone

* Dow up 0.6 pct, S&P 500 up 1 pct, Nasdaq up 0.9 pct

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, May 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose and extended a recent rally on Tuesday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 hitting new intraday highs as investors bet that the market's upward momentum would keep going.

Gains were broad, with more than two-thirds of New York Stock Exchange-listed companies' shares rising and almost 640 securities hitting 52-week highs, including Chevron Corp and Visa Inc.

Growth-orientated stocks were among the day's biggest advancers, with large-cap bank stocks leading the way. Bank of America, up 2.6 percent at $13.32, was the Dow's biggest gainer. Citigroup Inc rose 2.2 percent to $49.98. Goldman Sachs advanced 3.4 percent to $154.67 while Wells Fargo & Co added 1.1 percent to $38.63.

Wall Street has climbed for the past three weeks. The S&P 500 is up almost 16 percent so far this year, propelled in large part by the Federal Reserve's easy monetary policy, designed to stimulate the economy.

"We're riding a self-fulfilling prophecy of momentum. There's no fundamental reason for today's move, other than the continued easing by the Fed and momentum," said Paul Radeke, vice president at Minneapolis-based KDV Wealth Management.

While some analysts expect the momentum to wane in the near term, as equities haven't undergone a significant pullback this year, many say that the long-term trend remains positive as investors keep using any market decline as a buying opportunity.

"The sheer volume of cash coming in from the sidelines is preventing any kind of correction, even though fundamentally we seem to be getting overbought," said Radeke, who helps oversee $400 million in assets.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 95.73 points, or 0.63 percent, to 15,187.41. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 15.65 points, or 0.96 percent, to 1,649.42. The Nasdaq Composite Index advancedp 29.39 points, or 0.85 percent, to 3,468.18.

Earlier in the session, the Dow hit an all-time intraday high at 15,191.60, while the S&P 500 reached an all-time intraday high at 1,649.71.

The Dow's gains were limited by weakness in Caterpillar Inc , down 0.8 percent at $87.56, and UnitedHealth Group , off 0.8 percent at $61.90.

The market had been trading sideways for three sessions, showing a gain of 0.07 percent as the winding down of the quarterly earnings season and a light economic calendar have left investors without a strong catalyst for further gains.

Economic data showed import prices slipped 0.5 percent last month because of a drop in oil costs, the biggest decline since December, and matching Wall Street's expectations.

U.S.-listed shares of Sony Corp jumped 10.3 percent to $20.83 after billionaire hedge fund investor Daniel Loeb called on the company to spin off its lucrative entertainment arm.

Nokia Corp unveiled a new version of its Lumia smartphone line, but U.S.-listed shares fell 5.3 percent to $3.64. Research company Gartner said Nokia lost 5 percentage points of market share in the first quarter, falling to 14.8 percent.

Solar power companies' shares fell on the day after Trina Solar Ltd estimated lower panel shipments than a previous outlook and said its results would be hurt by a foreign currency exchange loss. The stock fell 7.3 percent to $5.50 while Yingli Green Energy slid 4.4 percent to $2.41.

Most corporate earnings have been better than expected this quarter. With 90 percent of the S&P 500 companies having reported results so far, 67.2 percent have topped earnings expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data, which is even with the average over the past four quarters. However, only 46.9 percent have beaten revenue expectations, below the 52 percent average over the past four quarters.




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