New York Report: Microsoft helps Dow to close at a record high

THE Dow industrials closed at a record high yesterday, led by gains in Microsoft and encouraging European economic data, while the S&P 500 also rose but closed shy of its own record.

Meanwhile the Nasdaq fell, hurt by losses in Tesla Motors and as investors readied for Twitter’s much-anticipated IPO.

The benchmark S&P 500 rose as high as 1,773.79 intraday, above its closing high of 1,771.95 set on Oct 29. Its all-time intraday peak came the day after at 1,775.22.

Microsoft was the biggest gainer on the blue chip Dow index after Reuters reported the company had narrowed its CEO search to a handful of names. Its shares rose 4.2 per cent to $38.18 after rising as high as $38.22, the highest since July 2000.

Other big technology shares slipped. Apple was down 0.3 per cent at $520.92, Facebook was down almost 2 per cent at $49.12. Google closed up 0.1 per cent at $1,022.75. One day before Twitter’s IPO, several other companies sold shares that debuted yesterday. Barracuda Networks shares jumped nearly 20 per cent to $21.55, but several other IPOs barely moved. If all 13 scheduled IPOs price this week, it will be the busiest week of the year in terms of the number of primary issues since September 2007 According to Thomson Reuters data.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 128.66 points, or 0.82 per cent, at 15,746.88. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 7.52 points, or 0.43 per cent, at 1,770.49. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 7.92 points, or 0.20 per cent, at 3,931.95.