Dow Ends At Record High

 
on May 09 2014 9:11 PM
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, October 3, 2013.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Reuters/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) -- The Dow ended at a record high on Friday (May 9), boosted by IBM, while a rebound in high-growth momentum names helped the broader market.

Consumer discretionary shares also lifted the market, with the stock of Gap Inc. up 3.3 percent at $40.52 (USD) after the apparel retailer reported upbeat April sales and gave a profit forecast that surpassed Wall Street's expectations.

The S&P consumer discretionary index was up 0.6 percent. Apple Inc was the biggest drag on both the benchmark S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq 100 on news that it is close to paying a record $3.2 billion for Beats Electronics, an expensive foray into music streaming and headphone gear, two people with knowledge of the matter said. Some analysts questioned whether Beats, valued at $1 billion during its last funding round in September, was worth that price. Apple shares fell 0.4 percent to $585.54. Momentum names advanced, with shares of Gilead Sciences Inc up 1.3 percent at $79.76. Netflix Inc shares rose 2.1 percent to $328.55 after the company increased the price of its most popular video streaming plan by $1 a month.

The gains came after a volatile week for those shares. The S&P 500 has alternated between gains and losses each day this week, and the Nasdaq has dropped for three straight sessions - its longest losing streak since early April - as Internet-related stocks came under pressure. Trading was mostly lackluster, with about 5.7 billion shares changing hands on the U.S. exchanges, below the 6.2 billion month-to-date average, according to data from BATS Global Markets. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 32.37 points or 0.2 percent, to 16,583.34, the S&P 500 gained 2.85 points or 0.15 percent, to 1,878.48 and the Nasdaq Composite added 20.374 points or 0.5 percent, to 4,071.869. Shares of International Business Machines Corp rose 0.6 percent to $190.08 and helped lift the Dow to a record close. For the week, the Dow rose 0.4 percent, while the S&P 500 dipped 0.1 percent and the Nasdaq fell 1.3 percent. This marked the Nasdaq's biggest weekly percentage decline in a month.

The Russell 2000 gained 0.9 percent. Early in the session, it flirted with correction territory, defined as a 10 percent drop from a recent peak. At its session low, the Russell touched 1,091.50, nearly 10 percent below its all-time closing high of 1,208.65 reached on March 4. Healthcare stocks rose, with shares of Merck up 0.7 percent at $55.21 a day after U.S. health regulators approved a blood-clot prevention drug developed by Merck for use by patients who have had a heart attack or who suffer from blockages in the arteries of the legs.

Story by Caroline Valetkevich

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