"The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rallied to within 1 percent of its all-time high after General Electric Co. announced a broad restructuring plan and investors awaited further clues on the strength of corporate profits."
GE rose the most in six years after saying it plans to exit the majority of its finance business, and it authorized a stock buyback of as much as $50 billion.
Health-care companies advanced for a sixth day. Netflix Inc. climbed more than 3.4 percent, while financial stocks lagged as insurance companies slipped.
“I’m a little surprised the market is moving with this level of enthusiasm,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist in Philadelphia at Janney Capital Management LLC, which oversees about $68 billion.
“The announcement of the GE share buyback is gargantuan, and with it being a very widely-held position, a share price boost is also boosting investor portfolios and stock indices.”
Read more: BlackRock Inc.’s global chief investment strategist Russ Koesterich predicted in a note to clients that the current six-year bull market won’t end until “sometime between 2016 and 2017.”