U.S. stocks closed higher Wednesday, with the Nasdaq composite hitting a record closing high, led by gains in the technology sector. All three major indexes rebounded, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallying more than 100 points, following sharp losses a day earlier.
The Nasdaq finished above its previous record closing high set on April 24.
The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) climbed 121.48 points, or 0.67 percent, to close at 18,163. The Standard & Poor's 500 (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) added 19.28 points, or 0.92 percent, to end at 2,123. The Nasdaq composite (INDEXSP:.INX) gained 73.84 points, or 1.47 percent, to finish at 5,107.
The Nasdaq biotechnology sector leaped 1.7 percent, led by a 15 percent gain from Five Prime Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:FPRX). Retrophin Inc. (NASDAQ:RTRX) and Concert Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:CNCE) jumped 12 percent and 11 percent, respectively.
Technology also led the Dow higher Wednesday, boosted by a 2.5 percent gain from software giant Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), along with a 2 percent gain from iPhone maker Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
The Dow Jones Transport Average jumped 1 percent after tumbling below its 200-day moving average a day earlier. United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE:UAL) and JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) gained 3.5 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, shares of Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) jumped 10 percent to close at $94.54 Wednesday after the luxury jeweler posted earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street forecasts, driven by a boost in sales of gold fashion jewelry and statement jewelry.
Shares of Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:KORS) plunged 24 percent Wednesday to end at $45.93 after the London-based handbag maker’s latest earnings release showed that sales cooled during the January-March quarter as tourists eased spending due to a stronger U.S. dollar.
Market professionals are looking ahead to Thursday’s economic calendar, which includes weekly jobless claims, or the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment, due out at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose slightly more than expected last week as initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 274,000 for the week ended May 16, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday.
Economists forecast jobless claims to fall by 4,000 to 270,000 for the week ended May 23, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.