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US: Dow hits record on construction spending, auto sales
[NEW YORK] The Dow on Tuesday jumped to a fresh record close following a rise in US construction spending and encouraging auto and "Cyber Monday" sales data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 102.75 points (0.58 per cent) to 17,879.55, about 50 points above the record set last week.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 13.11 (0.64 per cent) to 2,066.55, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 28.46 (0.60 per cent) at 4,755.81.
The Commerce Department reported that total US construction spending rose 1.1 per cent in September, almost double the increase projected by analysts.
General Motors and Chrysler were among the automakers that exceeded analyst forecasts for November US sales.
US online sales on Monday came in at US$2.65 billion (S$3.5 billion), up 16 per cent from 2013, according to the Adobe 2014 Digital Index.
The estimate for Cyber Monday, often seen as the annual highpoint for online retail, helped offset disappointing data on the "Black Friday" kickoff of the holiday shopping season.
Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, said the latest data confirmed that "the US economy seems to be leading" global growth.
Hogan said many petroleum stocks benefited from a wave of "bargain hunting" after a pullback amid sliding oil prices. Oil-related stocks Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Weatherford International all gained, despite another drop in oil prices Tuesday.
Telecom companies took a beating after Sprint launched a promotion to cut the monthly rate plan in half for Verizon and AT&T customers who switch to its network. Sprint fell 3.1 per cent, AT&T lost 2.2 per cent and Verizon shed 1.8 per cent.
Biotech company Biogen shot up 6.4 per cent after it reported promising early clinical results for an Alzheimer's drug. Rivals Gilead Sciences and Amgen gained 1.6 and 1.7 per cent, respectively.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.29 per cent from 2.22 per cent Monday, while the 30-year increased to 3.00 per cent from 2.95 per cent. Bond yields and prices move inversely.