Dow tops 18,000 for 1st time on strong US growth

NEW YORK (AFP) - The Dow stock index topped 18,000 for the first time on Tuesday, rising in the opening moments of trade following a strong report on US economic growth.

Fifteen minutes into trade, the Dow stood at 18,015.53, up 56.09 points (0.31 per cent).

The S&P 500 gained 5.76 (0.28 per cent) to 2,084.30, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 3.83 (0.08 per cent) at 4,785.25.

Tuesday's fresh records came on the heels of an unexpectedly strong revision to US growth for the third quarter.

The Commerce Department sharply raised its annual growth estimate from 3.9 percent to five percent, the strongest level in 11 years. Fueling the gain was an upgrade in consumption spending to 3.2 per cent.

Analysts had projected growth of 4.3 per cent.

However, the good cheer was offset somewhat by a disappointing report on US durable goods orders, which fell 0.7 per cent in November. The figures are a concern because durable goods are an indicator of business investment.

"There was good news and bad news," said BMO Capital Markets analyst Jennifer Lee.

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