U.S. stocks rose, capping a seventh week of gains for the Standard & Poor‚??s 500 Index, after an increase on the pace of hiring and pharmaceutical company shares rose due to favorable decisions by European regulators. This week, the Dow advanced 0.6 percent to finish with its seventh straight weekly gain, the longest streak since January 2011. The S&P 500 rose 0.4 percent during the past five days. Today, the S&P 500 climbed 0.5 percent to a record 1,804.76 at 4 p.m. in New York. The advance pushed the U.S. equity benchmark to a 27 percent gain for the year, poised to be the biggest annual jump since 1998. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) rose 54.78 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,064.77. About 5.6 billion shares changed hands in the U.S., 8 percent below the three-month average. Specifically, health-care stocks in the S&P 500 collectively rose 1.2 percent, led by Biogen Idec Inc. and Gilead Sciences Inc. Time Warner Cable Inc. soared 10 percent on renewed takeover speculation, while United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL) climbed 3.9 percent after billionaire David Tepper said his ‚??big play in the market‚?Ě is airlines. However, International Business Machines Corp. slid 1.5 percent after billionaire Stan Druckenmiller said he is shorting the shares. ‚??I don‚??t see any reason why the market shouldn‚??t go up,‚?Ě said Karyn Cavanaugh, a vice president and market strategist at ING U.S. Investment Management in New York. ‚??There‚??s not really any bad news.
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