U.S. stocks finished higher Wednesday as stronger than anticipated economic updates helped propel equity benchmark indexes to a fourth consecutive record finish. The Dow added 42 points while the S&P 500 gained 0.4%. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.7%.
The data docket was highlighted by the first revision to third-quarter GDP, which showed that the U.S. economy expanded at an annualized 2.1% pace, higher than the initial reading of 1.9%. A separate updated revealed U.S. durable goods orders unexpectedly rose 0.6% in October. The core PCE deflator, the Fed’s preferred proxy for inflation, ticked down to 1.6% in October, just below expectations of a 1.7% rise. An additional survey showed pending home sales declined 1.7% month-over-month in October, worse than the prior month’s downwardly revised 1.4% reading. Treasuries were weaker, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note adding two basis points to 1.76%.
Ten of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in positive territory with the Consumer Discretionary group pacing the gains. Communication Services stocks also outperformed as shares of Facebook added 1.5%. Industrials lagged the broader market advance, with Deere & Co. losing 4.3% as weak forward guidance overshadowed a top and bottom line beat. In other earnings, Autodesk added 5.5% after topping sales and profit estimates. Hewlett-Packard Inc. declined 1.4% despite reporting its first uptick in revenue in six quarters. In commodities, WTI crude fell 0.5% to $58.11/barrel while COMEX gold slipped 0.4% to $1453.90/ounce.