NEW YORK: US stocks brushed off an early move toward a correction and added to the bull run, with the Dow setting a fresh record for the fifth straight day.
A late thrust upward by Apple shares, which finished 1.4 per cent higher, also took the S&P 500 tantalizingly close to its all-time record.
At the close the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 50.22 points (0.35 per cent) at 14,447.29.
The broader S&P 500 gained 5.04 (0.32 per cent) to 1,556.22, still nine points below the all-time closing high set on October 9, 2007.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite meanwhile gained 8.50 points (0.26 per cent) to 3,252.87.
Early trade was dimmed by fresh European data on fourth quarter 2012 growth that confirmed the continuing recession, though Greece’s contraction came in less severe than earlier estimated.
In China, inflation hit a 10-month high of 3.2 per cent in February while growth in industrial output and retail sales slowed.
Apple’s spike, to finish at US$437.87, was attributed to market talk that the company could decide to pay shareholders a special dividend, which activist shareholders have been pressing the company for.
Also in tech, shares of Blackberry jumped 14.1 per cent after it announced the US launch date for its new Z10 smartphone, March 22.
Valero Energy led a general fall in energy shares as oil prices remained weak, losing 3.9 per cent.
Retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods plunged 10.9 per cent to US$45.11 after missing profit expectations in its fiscal fourth quarter earnings, coming in at US$1.03 a share against an expected US$1.06. The first quarter 2013 forecast was lower than expected at 47 cents a share.
Online gaming house Zynga added 10.1 per cent.
Bond prices were flat. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 2.06 per cent, while the 30-year yield was 3.25 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.-- AFP