Nasdaq breaches 6,000 mark for first time ever

The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose as much as 0.4 per cent to hit a record level of 6,007.72 helped by gains in Biogen and Apple.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose as much as 0.4 per cent to hit a record level of 6,007.72 helped by gains in Biogen and Apple.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The Nasdaq breached the 6,000 mark for the first time ever on Tuesday, spurred by a raft of strong corporate earnings and President Donald Trump's promise of a major tax reform plan.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose as much as 0.4 per cent to hit a record level of 6,007.72 helped by gains in Biogen and Apple.

The index first breached the 5,000 mark on March 7, 2000 and closed above that level two days later during the height of the tech boom.

Biogen's shares jumped more than 4 per cent after the biotech company reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue on Tuesday.

At 9:36 a.m. ET (9:36 p.m Singapore time), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 184.02 points, or 0.89 per cent, at 20,947.91, the S&P 500 was up 9.71 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 2,383.86 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 22.27 points, or 0.37 per cent, at 6,006.09.

Mr Trump promised last week to make "a big tax reform and tax reduction" announcement on Wednesday. The president has directed his aides to move quickly on a plan to cut the corporate income tax rate to 15 per cent from 35 per cent, a Trump administration official said on Monday.

Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with materials and financials in the lead.

Better-than-expected profits at McDonald's and Caterpillar helped the Dow outperform other major Wall Street indexes.

Tuesday's gains build on a day-earlier rally, which was driven by the victory of centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron in the first round of the French presidential election. Polls show Macron is likely to beat his far-right rival Marine Le Pen in a deciding vote on May 7.