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US: Dow, S&P 500 end at records, Apple gains on Shazam buy

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[NEW YORK] The Dow and S&P 500 edged to fresh records on Monday led by technology shares, including Apple, which rose following its acquisition of song recognition app Shazam.

US stocks were in positive territory for almost the entire session, brushing aside concerns over an explosion early in the day near Times Square that injured three and halted activity in key New York transportation hubs for several hours.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2 per cent to close at 24,386.03, advancing from Friday's record.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.3 per cent to 2,659.99, also a second straight record finish, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index won 0.5 per cent to end at 6,875.08.

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Analysts described investor sentiment as upbeat after a series of positive economic reports, including Friday's November jobs report.

And traders remain bullish over the progress of tax cut legislation in Washington, which could reach President Donald Trump's desk by the end of the year.

Analysts are looking ahead to a series of central bank policy meetings this week, including the two-day gathering at the Federal Reserve that culminates Wednesday with a policy statement and news conference by Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

The US central bank is widely expected to raise interest rates for the third time this year.

Apple jumped 2.0 per cent following the Shazam deal, which is seen as a fresh bid to secure an edge in the intensifying battle of streaming services. Financial terms were not disclosed, but leading technology news sites put the deal at around US$400 million.

Other technology shares to gain included Microsoft, up 1.3 per cent, and Tesla Motors, up 4.4 per cent.

Disney rose 2.5 per cent as its animated comedy Coco again led the weekend box office list. Disney also is expected to get a lift from next weekend's release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, predicted to net a mammoth US$200 million in its opening weekend.

AFP