Tech helps S&P and Dow to hit new records - New York Report

US STOCKS rose yesterday, boosted by tech shares, with the S&P 500 and Dow industrials closing at records. However, the energy sector was once more the largest weight on the market as crude prices continued to flirt with multi-year lows.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 12.81 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 17,827.75, the S&P 500 gained 5.8 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 2,072.83 and the Nasdaq Composite added 29.07 points, or 0.61 per cent, to 4,787.32.

Hewlett-Packard, Apple and chipmakers were among the largest advancers, with the PHLX semiconductor index closing up 2.1 per cent to its highest since June 2001. Analog Devices jumped 5.5 per cent to $54.56, leading the sector a day after posting results.

Hewlett-Packard rose 4.1 per cent to $39.16 the day after reporting fourth-quarter earnings. Apple led S&P 500 gains, closing up 1.2 per cent at $119 per share.

Seven of the top 10 points gainers in the index on Wednesday were in the tech sector.

The S&P’s energy sector fell 1.1 per cent, taking the declines in the past three sessions to 3.4 per cent. Crude prices fell as after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries increased signals that it would hold off making any major production cuts this week.

US-traded Seadrill shares tumbled 22.8 per cent to $15.99 after it stopped dividend payments to help it weather a slump in offshore drilling rig market rates.