(REUTERS) - The S&P 500 eased slightly on Monday (January 28) after an eight-day run of gains, while the Nasdaq edged higher as Apple shares rebounded.
The index remained above 1,500, however, after closing above that level on Friday for the first time in more than five years. The S&P 500's eight sessions of gains was its longest winning streak in eight years.
Caterpillar shares helped cap losses in the Dow industrials even as the company posted a 55 percent drop in quarterly profit due to a charge connected with accounting fraud at a Chinese subsidiary and weak demand among its dealers. Caterpillar's shares, down 2.2 percent in the past three sessions, rose 2 percent Monday to $97.45 (USD).
Bargain hunters lifted Apple after the tech giant's stock dropped 14.4 percent in the previous two sessions. With Apple's stock up 2.3 percent at $449.83, the iPad and iPhone maker regained the title as the largest U.S. company by market capitalization as Exxon Mobil fell 0.7 percent to $91.11 and slipped back to second place.
On the down side, Boeing fell 1.4 percent to $74 on worries about the potential hit from delays in its 787 Dreamliner program.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 14.05 points, or 0.10 percent, at 13,881.93. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 2.78 points, or 0.18 percent, at 1,500.18. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 4.59 points, or 0.15 percent, at 3,154.30.
Investors poured $55 billion in new cash into stock mutual funds and exchange-traded funds in January, the biggest monthly inflow on record, research provider TrimTabs Investment Research said.
Data on Monday pointed to growing economic momentum as companies sensed improved consumer demand.
U.S. durable goods orders jumped 4.6 percent in December, a pace that far outstripped expectations for a rise of 1.8 percent. Pending home sales, however, unexpectedly dropped 4.3 percent. Analysts were looking for an increase of 0.3 percent.
Corporate earnings so far have mostly been stronger than expected. Thomson Reuters data showed that of the 150 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings so far, 67.3 percent have beaten analysts' expectations, which is a higher proportion than over the past four quarters and above the average since 1994.
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