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US: Dow, S&P end at new records, brushing off North Korea, weak data


[NEW YORK] New York stock markets ended the week on an upbeat note, with new records for the Dow and S&P as investors brushed off weak US economic data and another North Korea missile launch.

Even after an attack on the London subway during the morning rush hour and data showing a big hurricane impact on US economic activity, Wall Street investors were determined to push prices higher.

"They seem to be looking past the economy. They want nothing to rain on their parade," economist Joel Naroff said in a commentary.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at its fourth straight record, rising nearly 0.3 per cent to 22,268.34, while the broader S&P 500 rose 0.2 per cent to 2,500.23, edging to a new all-time high. The tech-rich Nasdaq was up 0.3 per cent to 6,488.47.

"I'm a little perplexed," said Chris Low of FTN Financial. "The data is on balance not very good." And every market sector showed increases, despite reports showing Hurricanes Harvey and Irma had a big impact on US retail sales and industrial activity in August that is likely to cut economic growth in the third quarter.

But the weak data could offset the impact of a rise in consumer prices in the month, making it more likely the Federal Reserve will hold off on raising interest rates a third time this year.

Oracle was down nearly eight per cent after earnings came in below expectations.

Google-parent Alphabet lost 0.5 per cent after reports it was considering a big investment in ride-sharing operation Lyft. Amazon also lost 0.5 per cent, but Apple added one per cent after its new product launch this week.