Dow breaks record as Wall Street ends mixed

The blue chips closed higher for a tenth straight session, but tech stocks dragged the Nasdaq lower.

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street ended in mixed territory on Thursday (Feb 23) but the blue-chip Dow hit a tenth consecutive all-time high, breaking a 30-year record.

But the broader S&P 500 finished flat and the Nasdaq fell for second day, weighed lower by tech stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2 per cent to end at 20,810.32. It was also the first time since 2013 the index had closed higher on 10 consecutive days.

The S&P scraped into positive territory, rising less than a tenth of a percentage point to 2,363.81 while the Nasdaq fell 0.4 per cent to 5,835.51.

Wall Street has smashed records repeatedly since President Donald Trump took office, with investors cheered in recent days by hopes the new administration will unveil a tax cuts soon.

Bill Lynch of Hindsale Associates said there had been little news on Thursday to stimulate market moves by investors.

"In terms of news today, there wasn't a heck of a lot," Lynch told AFP. "Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin came and said he expects the tax reform to be very significant and put in place by the August recess."

Pharmaceuticals were among the Dow's biggest gainers, with Johnson & Johnson rising 1.82 per cent, Pfizer adding 1.4 per cent and Merck up 0.9 per cent.

Shares in electric automaker Tesla fell 6.4 per cent on the Nasdaq after the company's mixed quarterly results on Wednesday, with losses narrowing in the fourth quarter and revenues rising.

Oil shares were lifted higher after crude oil prices hit their highest point since mid-2015 in New York, with a barrel of light sweet crude for April delivery settling up 86 cents at US$54.45.

Exxon Mobil gained one percent while Chevron added 0.6 per cent and ConocoPhillips rose 0.4 per cent.