New York Report: Fresh record peaks for Dow and S&P 500

THE DOW and the S&P 500 eked out record closing highs again last night, while the Nasdaq resumed its recent slide, dragged down by Cisco shares.

The S&P 500 briefly rose above 1,900 for the first time early in the session, but quickly gave back some of its gains. In contrast, the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks fell 1.1 per cent.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 19.97 points or 0.12 per cent, to 16,715.44, its third straight record closing high. The Dow also set an intraday record at 16,735.51.

The S&P 500 gained just 0.8 of a point or 0.04 per cent, to 1,897.45, its second straight record closing high. The S&P 500 also advanced during the session to 1,902.17, a lifetime intraday high.

The Nasdaq Composite dropped 13.69 points or 0.33 per cent, to close at 4,130.165.

Homebuilders’ shares gained and the common stock of mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac jumped as Federal housing finance agency director Mel Watt laid out new policies that could make it easier for many Americans to obtain mortgages. Fannie Mae jumped 7.8 per cent to $4.57 while Freddie Mac advanced 6.9 per cent to $4.49.

Cisco Systems, set to report results today, was the biggest drag on the Nasdaq. The stock slid 1.4 per cent to end at $22.86.

New economic data did little to change the view that the American economy is poised for faster growth this quarter. Retail sales rose 0.1 per cent in April, less than expected, though the March reading was revised upward.