* S&P 500 poised to rally for an eighth straight day
* ECB's Draghi sees euro zone recovery; German confidence up
* Procter & Gamble profit improves
* Indexes up: S&P 0.3 pct, Dow 0.2 pct, Nasdaq 0.3 pct
By Edward Krudy
NEW YORK, Jan 25 U.S. stocks rose on Friday,
buoyed by sturdy corporate earnings from Procter & Gamble and
Honeywell, with the S&P 500 poised for its longest winning
streak in more than eight years.
The strong start for the equity market this year has been
attributed to solid corporate results, agreement in Washington
to extend the government's borrowing power, encouraging signs
from the global economy and seasonal inflows into stocks.
Those factors helped the S&P 500 rally for a seventh day on
Thursday to a five-year peak. Still, the index struggled to
climb convincingly above 1,500, a level it surpassed briefly
Thursday for the first time since December 2007.
If the S&P 500 rises for an eighth day on Friday it will be
its longest winning streak since late 2004, when it rallied for
nine straight days.
"We are seeing a very broad-based rally and the ingredients
are still in place," said Steve Goldman, principal at Goldman
Management in Short Hills, New Jersey. "This is the lift-off
phase and it's still significant."
Procter & Gamble, the world's top household products
maker, said quarterly profit soared past expectations and raised
its sales and earnings outlook for the fiscal year. Shares rose
3.5 pct to $72.93.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 27.45 points,
or 0.20 percent, to 13,852.78. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
rose 4.19 points, or 0.28 percent, to 1,499.01. The
Nasdaq Composite Index added 8.63 points, or 0.28
percent, to 3,139.01.
Honeywell International Inc posted fourth-quarter
earnings just above Wall Street estimates, reflecting the
diversified U.S. manufacturer's campaign to boost profit margins
in the face of sluggish sales growth. The shares rose 0.9
percent to $68.82.
Pointing to a rotation out of bonds, U.S. 30-year Treasury
bonds traded more than a point lower in price on Friday, with
yields touching session highs at 3.10 percent.
"You have had more confidence from fund managers to provide
more allocations to equity markets," which looked more
attractive than bonds or cash, said Rick Meckler, president of
investment firm LibertyView Capital Management.
Recent company earnings have been encouraging. Thomson
Reuters data through early Thursday showed that of the 133 S&P
500 companies that have reported earnings so far, 66.9 percent
exceeded expectations, more than the 65 percent average over the
past four quarters.
Microsoft Corp reported lower quarterly profit on
Thursday as Office software sales slowed ahead of a new launch,
offsetting a solid but unspectacular start for its Windows 8
operating system and sending the company's shares down 0.2
percent to $27.51.
Apple stepped up audits of working conditions at
major suppliers last year, discovering multiple cases of
underage workers, discrimination and wage problems. The shares,
which fell 12 percent Thursday after disappointing earnings,
were little changed at around $450.93.
German business morale improved for a third consecutive
month in January to its highest in more than half a year,
providing further evidence that growth in Europe's largest
economy was gathering speed after contracting late last year.
Echoing a more positive tone in Europe, ECB President Mario
Draghi said on Friday he expects the euro zone economy to
recover later this year, and that financial market improvements
had not yet trickled into the general economy.