US STOCKS-Dow, S&P 500 hit records in quiet session

lunes 3 de noviembre de 2014 13:04 GYT

* Dow, S&P 500 hit intraday records in quiet session

* Sapient, Covance rally on heavy volume; both to be bought

* ISM Manufacturing data tops expectations in October

* Dow down 0.2 pct, S&P 500 up 0.1 pct, Nasdaq up 0.4 pct

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Nov 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Monday, with investors mostly taking a pause following a sharp rally on Friday, but both the S&P 500 and the Dow inched up to intraday records, while strength in semiconductors boosted the Nasdaq.

Equities have been strong of late, with the Dow last week posting its biggest weekly gain since January 2013 and the S&P coming off its biggest two-week jump since December 2011. The gains have largely come on the back of strong quarterly results, which have eased concerns over how corporations are faring in an uncertain growth environment, as well as stimulative actions from central banks.

"The bull market may be old and wrinkly, but it is still alive and there's nowhere else for investors to really go besides U.S. equities," said Paul Schatz, president and chief investment officer at Heritage Capital in Woodbridge, Connecticut.

While the market's momentum is to the upside, near-term trading may be quieter as earnings season draws to a close. With results in from 73 percent of companies, 75.4 percent reported earnings above analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data, above the long-term average of 63 percent.   Continuación...