THE Nasdaq composite index closed above 4,000 yesterday for the first time since 2000, while the Dow and S&P ended barely changed.
Retailers and homebuilders were among the best performing sectors, responding to stronger-than-expected earnings and robust housing market data.
Tiffany jumped seven per cent to $88.02 and was the S&P 500’s top performer after the luxury retailer’s third-quarter sales topped expectations.
Wal-Mart shares rose 0.3 per cent to close at an all-time high of $80.86 a day after the retailer named a new chief executive.
On the Nasdaq, Apple gained 1.8 per cent to $533.40, Google rose 1.2 per cent to $1,058.41 and Amazon.com shares ended up 1.3 per cent to $381.37.
The PHLX Housing Index rose 2.5 per cent after stronger-than-expected figures on building permits for October and a steady rise in housing prices. Ryland Group led the index, gaining 5.6 per cent to $40.02 a share.
Permits for future US home construction hit a five-year high and an index of single-family home prices notched big gains in September.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.26 point to 16072.80. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 0.27 point, or 0.01 per cent, to 1,802.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 23.18 points, or 0.58 per cent, to 4,017.75.
Trading is expected to remain light this week, with financial markets closed tomorrow for the Thanksgiving holiday and closing at 1pm on Friday.