US STOCKS-Dow, S&P hit new highs on Fed; Twitter options debut

Reuters

* NY factory index falls in Nov to weakest since May-NY Fed

* Twitter options begin trading

* Exxon Mobil, J.C. Penney gain after hedge fund filings

* Indexes up: Dow 0.3 pct, S&P 0.2 pct, Nasdaq 0.1 pct

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, Nov 15 (Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P 500 climbedto fresh highs on Friday in the wake of reassuring remarks byFederal Reserve chair nominee Janet Yellen that the centralbank's accommodative policies would continue.

Still, the advance was limited, with both indexes on trackfor a sixth consecutive week of gains and the S&P 500 less than10 points away from 1,800, its next level of potentialresistance. The Nasdaq 100 index was near a 13-year high.

A divergence continued between large-cap and mid- andsmall-cap stocks - viewed to be riskier as they exhibit greatersensitivity to macroeconomic factors - with the Russell 2000index of small- and mid-cap stocks flat at 1,111.37.

"Going forward, I'm keeping an eye on the 1,120 area on theRussell 2000, as small-cap leadership would be a good sign forrisk appetite," said Bryan Sapp, senior trading analyst atSchaefer's Investment Research in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 39.21 points,or 0.25 percent, at 15,915.43. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 2.94 points, or 0.16 percent, at 1,793.56. TheNasdaq Composite Index was up 3.24 points, or 0.08percent, at 3,975.98.

Exxon Mobil Corp rose 1.3 percent to $94.41 a dayafter Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc disclosed a new $3.45 billion stake in the world's largestpublicly traded oil company.

J.C. Penney Co shares rose 3.3 percent to $8.98after a number of hedge funds including Highfields Capital, JanaPartners and Farallon Capital Management Group took positions inthe ailing department store operator, and Glenview Capital,already a big owner, added to its holdings.

Following Twitter 's trading debut on the New YorkStock Exchange on Nov. 7, options market makers began pricingand trading contracts Friday to buy or sell Twitter shares atvarious prices in the future.

Data showed New York state's manufacturing sectorunexpectedly shrank this month while U.S. industrial productionfell in October as output at power plants and minesdeclined. The market barelyreacted to the reports.

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