New York Report: Dow and S&P hit new peaks and Nasdaq up

THE DOW and S&P 500 ended at record highs last night while the Nasdaq rallied as shares of internet and biotech shares advanced.

Biogen Idec jumped 4.8 per cent to $300.54 and TripAdvisor rose 5.8 per cent to $89.51. Twitter gained 5.9 per cent to $33.94 after news reports that brokerage SunTrust raised its rating on the stock to “buy”.

These momentum shares have been wildly volatile in recent sessions after a sharp selloff that began in March on concerns about their high valuations.

The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks climbed 2.4 per cent, its biggest daily percentage gain since early March. At its session low Friday, the index was down exactly 10 per cent from the intraday record high set in early March. A correction, which is a drop of 10 per cent from a recent high, is often seen as a sign of more weakness. The iShares Russell 2000 ETF rose 2.3 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 112.13 points or 0.68 per cent, to 16,695.47, a record closing high. The Dow also hit an intraday record high of 16,704.84.

The S&P 500 rose 18.17 points or 0.97 per cent, to 1,896.65, also a record closing high. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 71.99 points or 1.77 per cent, to 4,143.859.

The rally came despite a vote by pro-Russian rebels in favour of self-rule in eastern regions of the country in a referendum dismissed by Kiev and western governments as illegal. The European Union is set to step up pressure on Russia by taking steps to extend sanctions to companies, as well as individuals.