Dow, S&P set record highs after milestone levels

Updated: 2013-05-09 10:22


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Dow, S&P set record highs after milestone levels

A street sign for Wall Street hangs in front of the New York Stock Exchange May 8, 2013. Stocks pushed further into record territory on Wednesday, driving the S&P 500 to an all-time high close for a fifth day, helped by strength in financials and technology. [Photo/Agencies]

NEW YORK - US stocks ended higher in choppy trading Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor's 500-stock Index refreshing new record highs after logging milestone levels.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 48.92 points, or 0.32 percent, to 15,105.12 points. The S&P 500 was up 6.73 points, or 0.41 percent, to 1,632.69 points. The Nasdaq Composite Index surged 16.64 points, or 0.49 percent, to 3,413.27 points.

"We seem to be at this parabolic stage of the rally where good news leads to higher prices, while bad news just gives justification for more QE," Mark L. Newton, chief technical analyst with Greywolf Execution Partners Inc, said in a note Wednesday.

The Dow and S&P 500 repeatedly set record highs since March. In the previous session, the blue-chip Dow closed above the 15,000 milestone for the first time ever and the broader S&P 500 traded solidly above the 1,600 level.

The market regained momentum from upbeat data outside the United States. China's foreign trade swung to a surplus in April after posting a slight deficit in March. The country's exports rose 14.7 percent year on year in April, while imports surged 16.8 percent, both of which beat market expectations, official customs data showed Wednesday.

Meanwhile, German industrial production increased 1.2 percent in March, the second monthly rise in a row. The figure was better than economists'expectations of a small decline.

On the US economic front, mortgage applications increased 7 percent last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.

Among key S&P sectors, financials and materials led the gainers.

The CBOE Volatility Index, considered as the fear gauge of Wall Street, lost 1.33 percent to 12.66.

In corporate news, shares of Walt Disney, a Dow component, dipped 0.12 percent to $65.99 though the conglomerate posted its better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue after Tuesday's closing bell.

Shares of Electronic Arts Inc soared 17.11 percent to $21.56 one day after the company reported a decline in sales and earnings for its fourth fiscal quarter from the year-ago period, but the results topped market estimates.

News Corp. reported its third fiscal quarter earnings and revenue after the closing bell, both of which beat analysts' forecasts. The company's shares climbed in after-hours trading.

After the market's continued record runs, investors grew more cautious and suspicious on the market's ability to post a further rally, as the US economy fares with fits and starts.

In other markets, light, sweet crude for June delivery gained 1 dollar, or 1.04 percent, to settle at $96.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on encouraging China trade data. However, Brent for June delivery fell 6 cents, to close at $104.34 a barrel.

Gold future for June delivery on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped $24.9, or 1.72 percent, to settle at nearly one-month high of $1,473.7 per ounce Wednesday on strong demand from Asia.

The US dollar retreated against most of major currencies Wednesday and continued falling against the euro as data of Germany's industrial output beat forecast. The dollar bought 98.81 Japanese yen, lower than 98.98 yen of the previous session.