US stock indexes jump amid higher than expected corporate earnings, Fed speculation

200282932-001U.S. stocks rose, pushing the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to record levels, as corporate giants earnings beat estimates while a drop in consumer confidence supports speculation the Federal Reserve will delay scaling back monetary stimulus.

The S&P 500 added 0.4% to 1,759.77 at 4 p.m. in New York. The Nasdaq 100 Index climbed 0.6% to 3,383.83. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 61.07 points, or 0.4%, to 15,570.28. About 6 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, in line with the three-month average.

“Earnings have been good enough and the liquidity spigot is open so that people see very little risk in the system,” Charlie Smith, chief investment officer of Pittsburgh-based Fort Pitt Capital Group Inc., said in a phone interview for Blomberg. “It’s like a giant game of musical chairs. The attitude on the part of most investors is that they have to play while the Fed got the music going.”

On Friday data showed consumer confidence in the U.S. dropped in October to a 10-month low, reflecting the damage done by government shutdown. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final consumer sentiment index for October decreased to 73.2 from 77.5 the prior month.

Amazon soared 9.4%, recording companys highest share price of $363.39. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos has invested money into the company’s delivery network, cloud-computing services and line of Kindle e-readers and tablets, as a part of his plan of reaching long term growth. That could put Amazon on track to outpace the e-commerce market, where sales are seen climbing 15.5% to $83.2 billion, according to EMarketer Inc.

Microsoft added 6% to $35.73. The world’s largest software maker is undergoing unprecedented changes, conducting its first-ever CEO search to replace Steve Ballmer and starting an organizational overhaul aimed at bolstering sales by focusing on devices and services.

United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) increased 1.2% to a record $95.61. The world’s largest-package delivery company beat analysts’ estimates for third-quarter earnings.

Yahoo! Inc. lost 2.5% to $32.25 after Yahoo Japan Corp. forecast full-year sales and profits that missed analysts’ estimates.

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