New York Report: S&P and Dow both surge to record high

THE Dow and the S&P 500 ended at record highs yesterday, driven by gains in consumer discretionary shares after results from Macy’s eased some worries about the holiday season.

US stock index futures edged up after the bell following the release of Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen’s introductory remarks, ahead of her confirmation hearing today to succeed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. She will appear before the Senate Banking Committee.

Shares of Macy’s shot up 9.4 per cent to $50.68, a record closing high, after the US department store operator said promotions had increased sales. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 70.96 points, or 0.45 per cent, to end at 15,821.63, a record close. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 14.31 points, or 0.81 per cent, to finish at a record 1,782.00. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 45.66 points, or 1.16 per cent, to close at 3,965.58.