Dow Jones Industrial hits fresh record as US stocks rally

NEW YORK (AFP) - The Dow closed at a fresh record high as US stocks rallied Friday, with investors shrugging off mixed earnings reports and uncertainty over the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 32.37 points (0.20 per cent) to 16,583.34, 2.5 points above the previous high on April 30.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 2.85 (0.15 per cent) at 1,878.48, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index outperformed, gaining 20.37 (0.50 per cent) at 4,071.88.

Wall Street had some "pretty positive" economic data this week, said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

"There's less of a geopolitical flight-to-safety trade," he said.

Trading was quiet, analysts said, with the major indices spending a good part of the day in the red.

Apparel retailer Gap reported that April comparable sales jumped nine per cent from the year-ago level; shares jumped 3.3 per cent.

But Ralph Lauren fell 2.1 per cent after predicting profit margins in its next fiscal year will drop as it steps up investment in advertising and marketing.

Advertising giants Omnicom and Publicis called off a US$35 billion (S$43.7 billion) merger that would have fashioned the world's largest advertising house amid disagreements over integrating the companies and filling key executive positions.

Omnicom gained 2.2 per cent. Publicis shares fell 0.8 per cent in Paris.

Apple shares lost 0.4 per cent amid reports it is close to announcing a US$3.2 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics, which makes headphones and has a popular new music-streaming service.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs disclosed that regulators have questioned the company over its high-speed trading operations and its foreign-hiring practices. Shares dipped 0.1 per cent.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.63 per cent from 2.61 per cent Thursday, while the 30-year increased to 3.46 per cent from 3.43 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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