Nasdaq sets new record 15 years after dot-com crash

NEW YORK (AFP) - The Nasdaq exchange smashed its 15-year-old record on Thursday, breaking through the old mark set at the peak of the dot-com boom in 2000.

The Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.42 per cent (20.89 points) to finish at 5,056.06, finally making up all the nearly 4,000 points lost in a stunning crash that followed the previous closing mark of 5,048.62 set on March 10, 2000.

A final-hour sell-off prevented the S&P 500 from surpassing its own previous record high of six weeks ago, but the markets overall polished off the session in positive territory.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 20.42 points (0.11 per cent) at 18,058.69. while the S&P added 4.97 (0.24 per cent) at 2,112.93.

"We finally took out the resistance area" after weeks of waiting for the Nasdaq breakthrough, said Peter Cardillo at Rockwell Global Capital.

Among leading Nasdaq names, Apple rose 0.8 per cent, Google gained 1.4 per cent and Biogen tacked on 1.6 per cent.

But Facebook slid 2.6 per cent as net income in the first quarter plunged 20 per cent to US$509 million (S$686 million), amid hefty increases in spending on research and share-based compensation.

Texas Instruments, another Nasdaq listing, sank 6.8 per cent after projecting second-quarter net income of 60-70 cents per share, below the 73 cents forecast by analysts.

General Motors fell 3.3 per cent after first-quarter earnings of 86 cents per share missed analyst forecasts of 97 cents. The company took a US$400 million charge to restructure its Russia operations.

Dow member Procter & Gamble fell 1.8 per cent as net income for its fiscal third quarter dropped 17.5 per cent to US$2.2 billion, due in part to the strong dollar.

Time Warner Cable fell 0.6 per cent on reports US cable giant Comcast will drop its plan to buy the company due to opposition from antitrust regulators. Comcast rose 0.8 per cent.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 1.95 per cent from 1.98 per cent Wednesday, while the 30-year dropped to 2.63 per cent from 2.67 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.