Tech, energy companies help raise stocks
The approach of Hurricane Florence sent home improvement retailers and gas prices higher. The Department of Energy said it’s seeing signs that shipments of oil from Iran are falling as the U.S. prepares to resume sanctions on the Iranian energy industry and pushes other countries to stop buying.
Apple climbed a day before it’s set to announce new phone designs and other products. Video game companies Activision Blizzard and Take-Two Interactive also jumped. Other big technology companies, and their compatriot Amazon, rose for a second day after big declines last week.
Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network, said that when investors’ confidence in the technology sector wavers, it tends to come back quickly because the companies are so profitable: Google and Facebook are free to use, and new users cost the companies practically nothing.
“There’s no way smaller companies can compete,” he said, although that comes with risks. “When a company gets successful beyond a certain level it does draw government attention.”
The S&P 500 index rose 10.76 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,887.89. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 113.99 points, or 0.4 percent, to 25,971.06. The Nasdaq composite added 48.31 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,972.47. The Russell 2000 index of smaller and more U.S.-focused companies inched up 0.94 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,718.40.
Apple jumped 2.5 percent to $223.85 and Amazon rallied 2.5 percent to $1,987.15. Microsoft picked up 1.7 percent to $111.24 and Alphabet climbed 1.3 percent to $1,189.99.