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S&P 500 in longest winning streak since 2004

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed above 1,500 on Friday for the first time since the start of the Great Recession in 2007, lifted by strong earnings from Procter & Gamble and Starbucks.

The S&P 500 rose 8.14 points, to 1,502.96. It was the eighth straight gain, the longest winning streak since November 2004.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 13,895.98, up 70.65 points. The NASDAQ composite gained 19.33 points, to 3,149.71.

Procter & Gamble, world's largest consumer products maker, gained $2.83, to $73.25 per share,after reporting that its quarterly income more than doubled. P&G also raised its profit forecast for its full fiscal year. Starbucks rose $2.24 to $56.81 after reporting a 13-percent increase in profits.

"Earnings are growing," said Joe Tanious, a global market strategist at JPMorgan. "The bottom line is that corporate America is doing exceptionally well."

Tanious expects corporate earnings to grow at about 5 percent over the "next year or two," and stock valuations to rise. Currently, the S&P 500 is trading at an average price-to-earnings ratio of 14, below an average of 15.1 for the last decade, according to FactSet data.

Apple continued to decline, allowing Exxon Mobil to once again surpass the electronics giant as the world's most valuable publicly traded company. Apple fell 2.4 percent, to $439.88, following a 12-percent drop on Thursday, the biggest one-day percentage drop for the company since 2008, after Apple forecast slower sales. The stock is now 37 percent below the record high of $702.10 it reached Sept. 19.

Apple first surpassed Exxon in market value in the summer of 2011, grabbing a title Exxon had held since 2005. The two traded places through that fall, until Apple surpassed Exxon in early 2012.

Stocks have surged this month, with the S&P 500 advancing 5.4 percent. It jumped at the start of the year when lawmakers reached a last-minute deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff." Stocks built on those gains on optimism that the housing market is recovering and the labor market is healing. The Dow Jones is up 6 percent on the year.

Deutsche Bank analysts raised their year-end target for the index to 1,600 from 1,575.

Companies will be able to maintain their earnings even if lawmakers in Washington decide to implement wide-ranging spending cuts to narrow the budget deficit, the analysts said in a note sent to clients late Thursday.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to its price, climbed 11 basis points to 1.95 percent.

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  1. Why not take some time to do some research before traveling to that Indiana town or city, and find the ones that are no smoking either inside, or have a patio? People like yourself are just being selfish, and unnecessarily trying to take away all indoor venues that smokers can enjoy themselves at. Last time I checked, it is still a free country, and businesses do respond to market pressure and will ban smoking, if there's enough demand by customers for it(i.e. Linebacker Lounge in South Bend, and Rack and Helen's in New Haven, IN, outside of Fort Wayne). Indiana law already unnecessarily forced restaurants with a bar area to be no smoking, so why not support those restaurants that were forced to ban smoking against their will? Also, I'm always surprised at the number of bars that chose to ban smoking on their own, in non-ban parts of Indiana I'll sometimes travel into. Whiting, IN(just southeast of Chicago) has at least a few bars that went no smoking on their own accord, and despite no selfish government ban forcing those bars to make that move against their will! I'd much rather have a balance of both smoking and non-smoking bars, rather than a complete bar smoking ban that'll only force more bars to close their doors. And besides IMO, there are much worser things to worry about, than cigarette smoke inside a bar. If you feel a bar is too smoky, then simply walk out and take your business to a different bar!

  2. As other states are realizing the harm in jailing offenders of marijuana...Indiana steps backwards into the script of Reefer Madness. Well...you guys voted for your Gov...up to you to vote him out. Signed, Citizen of Florida...the next state to have medical marijuana.

  3. It's empowering for this niche community to know that they have an advocate on their side in case things go awry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrst9VXVKfE

  4. Apparently the settlement over Angie's List "bundling" charges hasn't stopped the practice! My membership is up for renewal, and I'm on my third email trying to get a "basic" membership rather than the "bundled" version they're trying to charge me for. Frustrating!!

  5. Well....as a vendor to both of these builders I guess I have the right to comment. Davis closed his doors with integrity.He paid me every penny he owed me. Estridge,STILL owes me thousands and thousands of dollars. The last few years of my life have been spent working 2 jobs, paying off the suppliers I used to work on Estridge jobs and just struggling to survive. Shame on you Paul...and shame on you IBJ! Maybe you should have contacted the hundreds of vendors that Paul stiffed. I'm sure your "rises from the ashes" spin on reporting would have contained true stories of real people who have struggled to find work and pay of their debts (something that Paul didn't even attempt to do).

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