Dow ends at 2nd straight record after strong US data

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Oct 3, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - The Dow edged to a second straight record on Wednesday (Oct 3) following a batch of strong US economic data on hiring and consumer sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2 per cent to 26,828.39.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.1 perc ent at 2,925.51, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.3 per cent to 8,025.09.

US economic data continued to surprise to the upside, prompting a surge in 10-year US Treasury bond yields further above 3 per cent.

Key releases Wednesday showed strong private-sector hiring and an all-time record as far as US services sector activity.

The National Retail Federation also released an upbeat outlook on the holiday shopping season, predicting growth of 4.3 per cent - 4.8 per cent compared with last year, citing such factors as strong employment levels and robust consumer sentiment.

"While there is concern about the impacts of an escalating trade war, we are optimistic that the pace of economic activity will continue to increase through the end of the year," said NRF chief executive Matthew Shay.

Dow member Intel rose 1.4 per cent, adding to gains after the company signaled last week it was boosting manufacturing capacity to meet higher-than-expected demand for processors.

Other Dow members with outsized gains included Apple, Boeing, Caterpillar and Pfizer.

General Motors jumped 2.1 per cent after announcing that Honda Motors agreed to invest US$2.75 billion (S$3.7 billion) in GM's Cruise autonomous driving venture. US-listed shares of Honda fell 3.6 per cent.

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