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Continued: S&P 500 edges higher as rise in gold mining stocks makes up for earnings disappointments

  • Article by: STEVE ROTHWELL , Markets Writer
  • Last update: July 22, 2013 - 5:15 PM

The Fed is buying $85 billion of bonds each month to keep long-term interest rates low and to encourage spending.

The S&P 500 has gained 5.6 percent in July. The market last did better than 5.6 percent in October 2011.

Small-company stocks have fared even better. The Russell 2000 closed above 1,000 for the first time on July 5 and is up 7.8 percent for the month. That signals that investors have become more comfortable buying riskier assets.

In commodities trading, the price of oil fell 93 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $106.94 a barrel.

In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note was unchanged from Friday at 2.48 percent. As recently as July 5, the yield was as high as 2.74 percent.

As of Monday, 63 percent of the companies that have reported earnings have exceeded expectations. That's above the historical average.

S&P 500 companies are forecast to report earnings growth of 3.6 percent for the second quarter compared with a year earlier, according to data from S&P Capital IQ.

Analysts expect earnings growth to climb to nearly 6 percent in the third quarter and 11 percent in the fourth quarter.

Those forecasts may prove optimistic if economic growth doesn't accelerate in the second half of the year, said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at RDM Financial.

"I'm a little suspect that we're going to see double-digit (earnings) growth," Sheldon said. "We're more likely in a period of moderate-to-sluggish growth."

Among other stocks making big moves.

— Hasbro Inc.'s stock rose $1.49, or 3.3 percent, to $46.87. The nation's second biggest toy maker said Monday that it is expanding a merchandising deal with The Walt Disney Co. for properties including Marvel and Star Wars.

— Yahoo fell $1.25, or 4.3 percent, to $27.86. The company said Monday that activist investor Dan Loeb and two other directors nominated by his hedge fund, Third Point LLC, are leaving Yahoo's board after big gains in the company's stock price the past year.

— Kimberly-Clark, which makes Kleenex tissue and Huggies diapers, fell $1.81, or 1.8 percent, to $97.68. The company on Monday reported revenue that fell short of financial analyst's expectations.

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