Tuesday, September 25 16:33:46
U.S. stocks rose modestly today on investor optimism as a strong third quarter drew to a close and despite the latest bellwether company to cut its profit outlook.
The S and P 500 is on track for a 7 percent gain for the quarter.
Analysts said money managers were probably "window dressing," or adding the latest outperforming stocks to their portfolios before the end of the quarter.
"A lot of people are buying equities today because they've been underexposed to the market. It isn't necessarily a call on fundamentals," said Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at the ConvergEx Group in New York.
"Money managers who haven't believed in the rally don't want to compound that error by showing a lack of exposure at the end of the quarter."
Gains were limited, however, after a pessimistic outlook from Caterpillar Inc, the latest major company to warn that economic weakness could hurt its results, following FedEx Corp and Norfolk Southern. Tesla Motors also cut its view on Tuesday.
Caterpillar, the heavy machinery maker, cut its 2015 profit outlook, warning that weaker commodity prices would result in a bigger-than-expected decline in demand. Shares of the Dow component fell 2.3 percent to $88.81 while Tesla lost 4.9 percent to $29.17.
"There's no surprise that the economy will be slow for a number of years, and people pay particular attention to heavy industry names like Caterpillar, but so much can happen between now and 2015," Colas said.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 11.95 points, or 0.09 percent, at 13,570.87. The Standard and Poor's 500 Index was up 2.18 points, or 0.15 percent, at 1,459.07. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 4.88 points, or 0.15 percent, at 3,165.67. (C ) Reuters