Nasdaq ends above 9,000 for first time, Dow also hits record

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Dec 23, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - The tech-rich Nasdaq finished above 9,000 for the first time ever on Thursday (Dec 26), powering to its 10th straight record on gains by Amazon and other tech giants.

The Nasdaq surged 0.8 per cent to finish the post-holiday session at 9,022.39.

The other two major indices also finished at records in a sleepy post-Christmas trading day when overseas markets were closed.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.4 per cent to end at 28,621.39, while the broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.5 per cent to close at 3,230.91.

A report by Mastercard Spending Plus estimated that holiday shopping sales rose 3.4 per cent this year, which was better than expected, with e-commerce taking a bigger bite of overall sales.

E-commerce behemoth Amazon jumped 4.5 per cent after boasting of another "record" performance this season.

Most other retailers rose at least somewhat, with Gap gaining 1.7 per cent, Target 0.3 per cent and Walmart 0.1 per cent. analyst Patrick O'Hare said the latest run of records reflects upbeat investor sentiment based on a lower risk of recession anytime soon, a mellowing of United States-China trade tensions and accommodative monetary policy.

"In general, the market will be supported and there will be an inclination to buy the dip in the absence of negative news shocks," Mr O'Hare said.

Besides Amazon, other tech giants including Apple, Google parent Alphabet and Facebook all gained at least 1 per cent.

But Dow member Boeing remained under pressure, shedding another 0.9 per cent after a House investigative committee said earlier in the week that it obtained more records on the 737 Max showing "very disturbing" signs about the aviation giant's approach to safety, according to a congressional aide.

Meanwhile, oil prices finished at a three-month high following industry data showing lower US oil inventories.

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