NEW YORK — The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is flirting with a new milestone: 1,900.
The index briefly climbed above that level Tuesday before dropping back to close just below it. Still, it set an all-time closing high by a fraction of point.
Stocks have gained as most investors remain optimistic that the economy will start to accelerate this year following a cold winter that stymied growth. First-quarter corporate earnings came in better than expected, giving stocks a lift.
Whether the S&P 500 climbs beyond the 1,900 level or falls back now depends on the how the economy develops, said John Canally, chief market strategist for LPL Financial. If growth falters, stocks will likely slide, he said.
“But if the economy can deliver ... and the global economy can accelerate, we’ll look back at 1,900 and say ‘Yes that was just a stop on the way to 2,000,’” he said.
On Tuesday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.8 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 1,897.45, after climbing as high as 1,902 in early trading. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 19.97 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,715.44. The Nasdaq composite was the laggard of the three. The technology-focused index fell 13.7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,130.17.
Keurig Green Mountain was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500 index. Its stock surged $8.36, or 7.6 percent, to $119.07 after Coca-Cola raised its stake in the coffee company. Coca-Cola, the world’s biggest beverage company, disclosed in a regulatory filing that a subsidiary now has a 16 percent stake in Keurig.
Investors were also assessing corporate earnings.
McKesson jumped $5.77, or 3.3 percent, to $180 after the prescription drug distributor said Monday its net income rose 43 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter. Its overall earnings got a boost from stronger results in North America and lower costs.
Beauty products company Elizabeth Arden plunged $8.13, or 23 percent, to $27.50 after it reported an unexpected quarterly loss and disclosed it has hired Goldman Sachs to help it explore strategic alternatives.