Apple helps to send Wall St to new highs - New York Report

T HE DOW Jones industrial average and S&P 500 ended at record highs yesterday, helped by a rally in Apple as well as tepid economic data suggesting the Federal Reserve may wait to raise interest rates.

The S&P 500 racked up its third straight all-time high close, gaining 6.47 points, or 0.3 per cent, to end at 2,129.2 points. The Dow rose 26.32 points, or 0.14 per cent, to end at 18,298.88, beating its previous record close of 18,288.63 from 2 March.

US homebuilder sentiment fell in May although most builders view market conditions as favorable, the National Association of Home Builders said yesterday.

Slowing economic expansion in recent months, stemming partly from a stronger dollar and sluggish wage growth, has led many investors to push back expectations about when the Fed will begin raising interest rates for the first time since 2006.

“It’s becoming more of the collective thought that the Fed can wait, because you really don't see any blistering growth,” said Kurt Brunner, a portfolio manager at Swarthmore Group in Philadelphia.

Apple’s shares rose 1.10 per cent to $130.19 after Carl Icahn, one of the iPhone maker’s top 10 shareholders, said the stock was “still dramatically undervalued” and that it should be trading at $240.

The Nasdaq Composite added 30.15 points, or 0.6 per cent, to end at 5,078.44.

Altera rose 5.65 per cent to $46.93 after reports the company had resumed talks with Intel on a possible deal. Intel rose 1.24 per cent.

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