US stocks hit new records, Dow posts 7th straight gain

Wall Street stocks rose to fresh records Friday, as investors savored an outstanding US GDP report released earlier this week. -- PHOTO: AFP
Wall Street stocks rose to fresh records Friday, as investors savored an outstanding US GDP report released earlier this week. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks rose to fresh records Friday, as investors savored an outstanding US GDP report released earlier this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, notching its seventh straight gain, advanced 23.50 points (0.13 per cent) to 18,053.71, a new all-time high.

The broad-based S&P 500 jumped 6.89 (0.33 per cent) to 2,088.77, also a record, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 33.39 (0.70 per cent) to 4,806.86.

Analysts said stocks were continuing to drift higher after the Commerce Department on Tuesday put third-quarter US gross domestic growth at 5 per cent.

“In light trading today, the upward bias of the market is pulling us modestly higher,” said David Levy, portfolio manager at Kenjol Capital Management.

Tech giant Apple gained 1.8 per cent following reports that fewer investors are betting on a drop of shares, known as “going short.”

The shift comes amid growing confidence in upcoming earnings of Apple, said 24/7 Wall Street.

Amazon picked up 2 per cent as it announced that it added more than 10 million new members to its Amazon Prime shipping service during this year’s holiday shopping season.

Retail stocks were mostly higher on generally positive commentary about the critical holiday shopping season. Target, Wal-Mart Stores and Best Buy all advanced 0.6 per cent, while Williams-Sonoma rose 0.4 per cent.

Biotech stocks continued to outperform the broader market. Gilead Sciences gained 2.7 per cent, Celgene rose 3.4 per cent and Amgen tacked on 1.7 per cent.

Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury held steady at 2.26 per cent, while the 30-year dipped to 2.81 per cent from 2.83 per cent Wednesday. Bond prices and yields move inversely.