Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq end at records as tech shares rally

VIDEO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks jumped on Tuesday (Nov 21), with tech shares leading the way, as low trading volume and favorable economic data combined to push leading indices to fresh records.

All three major indices ended at all-time highs, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.7 percent at 23,590.83.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.7 per cent to 2,599.03, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.1 per cent to 6,862.48.

Many of the biggest tech shares, including Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google parent Alphabet climbed more than 1 per cent. Health shares were also strong.

The US economic calendar has been relatively light this week, but data releases, such as Tuesday's report on October existing-home sales, bested expectations.

The major indices have repeatedly hit records in 2017 amid improving earnings and expectations of a tax cut under President Donald Trump.

"After the selloff last week and the week before, we saw buyers coming in," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Annuities.

"Today's package of data are showing the economy growing at more than just a solid pace."

Time Warner rose 2.1 per cent a day after the Justice Department sued to block AT&T's proposed US$85 billion (S$115 billion) takeover due to antitrust concerns.

AT&T, which fell 0.9 per cent, maintains the deal should go through because the proposed transaction is a "vertical" merger and AT&T and Time Warner do not directly compete.

Lowe's, a home-improvement retailer, fell 1.1 per cent after reporting that third-quarter revenues rose 6.5 per cent to US$15.7 billion, boosted in part by hurricane-related spending.

Some analysts said the performance, while good, was less impressive than that of rival Home Depot.

Campbell Soup Company sank 8.2 per cent after reporting a 10 per cent drop in profits for the quarter ending Oct 29 to US$412 million as it pointed to cutthroat pricing from competitors on soup and higher logistics costs due to US hurricanes.