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US: Dow, S&P 500 end at records after US data, Intel outlook
[NEW YORK] The Dow and S&P 500 finished at record highs on Thursday as data showed further strength in the US economy and Intel gave an upbeat forecast.
Tech shares gave the market its biggest lift, along with energy. Boosting all three major indexes, Intel shares jumped 4.7 per cent to US$35.95, hitting their highest level since January 2002, after its 2015 revenue outlook was above Wall Street's expectations and the company raised its dividend.
The S&P technology index rose 0.6 per cent, while the energy index gained 1.1 per cent.
Further supporting stocks, data showed factory activity in the US mid-Atlantic region grew at its fastest pace in two decades, US home resales jumped to their highest in more than a year in October, and a gauge of future US economic activity gained.
Growth in the economy and earnings should bode well for stocks heading into next year, said Margaret Patel, senior portfolio manager at Wells Capital Management. "Next year will be a reasonable to maybe a surprisingly good year," she said. "(There is) no reason in the world why we can't see P/Es expand." Patel said stocks could rise by a mid single-digit to high-teens percentage next year.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 33.27 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 17,719, a record close. The S&P 500 gained 4.03 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,052.75, its 44th record high this year.
The Nasdaq Composite added 26.16 points, or 0.56 percent, to 4,701.87.
The Philadelphia Fed area "isn't a hub of industrial activity anymore but it's still important and it's strong," said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group.
The upbeat U.S. data offset weakness overseas, including euro zone business growth that was slower than expected this month.
Best Buy added 7 percent to US$38.02, among the S&P's largest percentage gainers, after better-than-expected profit.
Among the top Nasdaq decliners was Keurig Green Mountain , down 7.4 per cent at US$142.50, a day after it forecast fiscal first-quarter profit below analysts' estimates.
After the bell, Gap shares fell 4.9 per cent to US$38.19 following its results. Gap shares ended the regular session up 1.5 per cent.
About 5.7 billion shares traded on US exchanges, compared below 6.4 billion average this month, according to BATS Global Markets.
NYSE advancing issues outnumbered decliners 2,013 to 1,025, for a 1.96-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,824 issues rose and 893 fell for a 2.04-to-1 ratio.