A chart on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the rise of the S&P 500 index since 2009, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018. Stocks are off to a mixed start on Wall Street as the U.S. market is poised to reach its longest-ever bull run. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Stocks mixed even as S&P 500 index marks longest bull run

August 22, 2018 - 12:14 pm

The major U.S. stock indexes were mostly higher in afternoon trading Wednesday, on track for the market's bull run to become the longest in history. Gains in technology stocks, retailers and energy companies outweigh losses in industrial firms and elsewhere in the market.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index edged up 1 point, less than 0.1 percent, to 2,863 as of 12:57 p.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 35 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,786. The Nasdaq composite gained 21 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,880. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,720. Gainers held a slight edge on decliners on the New York Stock Exchange.

BULL MARKET: On Tuesday, the S&P 500 index briefly traded at an all-time high just as the U.S. stock market's bull run came closer to becoming the longest on record. The current bull market, which began in 2009, is on track to become the longest in history on Wednesday, surpassing the bull run of the 1990s.

THE QUOTE: While it's the current bull market is the longest on record, it lags other bull markets on the basis of magnitude, or the cumulative returns it has generated for investors, noted Jason Pride, chief investment officer for private clients at Glenmede.

"While it's long in time, it could still go on longer because, magnitude-wise, it's just not that far (along)," he said.

TECH REBOUND: Technology sector stocks reversed course after an early slide. Nvidia gained 2.4 percent to $259.38.

BULLSEYE: Target climbed 4.6 percent to $87.11 after the retailer reported earnings that came in ahead of analysts' forecasts. The company also raised its annual forecasts, citing stronger online and in-store sales.

WELL-BUILT: Lowe's jumped 7.3 percent to $107.07 after the home-improvement chain's latest quarterly results topped Wall Street's estimates.

FASHIONABLE RESULTS: Urban Outfitters rose 0.9 percent to $48.16 after the clothing retailer posted a bigger profit and better sales than analysts expected.

WHAT A DRAG: Industrial stocks took some of the heaviest losses. American Airlines Group lost 1.9 percent to $39.55.

MAKING THE DEAL: Hartford Financial Services Group slid 4 percent to $50.26 after the insurance and financial services company said it will buy insurance underwriter Navigators for $70 a share, or $2.08 billion.

ENERGY: U.S. benchmark crude climbed 3.1 percent to $67.88 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, gained 2.7 percent to $74.62 per barrel in London.

The pickup in oil prices helped boost energy sector stocks. Marathon Oil gained 3.8 percent to $20.98.

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.82 percent from 2.84 percent late Tuesday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 110.53 yen from 110.40 yen late Tuesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1592 from $1.1574.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX was flat, while France's CAC 40 edged up 0.2 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares added 0.1 percent. In Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 closed 0.6 percent higher. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.3 percent. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.6 percent.

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