Dow and S&P surge to fresh all-time highs

US stocks climbed one per cent yesterday, with both the Dow and S&P 500 ending at historic highs as cyclical shares led the way higher for a second straight day.

The S&P 500 finally joined the new all-time intraday high club, surging past a record set on 11 October 2007. The index has struggled to breach the level of 1,576.09 for the past several weeks, but broke above it yesterday to rise as high as 1,589.07. The Dow also hit another intraday milestone, rising as high as 14,826.66.

“The path of least resistance for the market remains higher, and despite some mixed economic data, investors are concluding that stocks remain a better place to be than risk-free assets,” said Jim McDonald, chief investment strategist at Chicago-based Northern Trust Global Investments.

Gains were broad, with all but two of the S&P 500’s 10 primary sectors up more than one per cent. More than three-fourths of stocks traded on the Nasdaq ended higher, while 73 per cent of New York Stock Exchange-listed shares did.

In another encouraging sign, volume was higher than it has been recently.

Tech was the day’s strongest group, with the S&P technology sector index up 1.8 per cent. The group was lifted by strong results at Adtran, which jumped 14 per cent to $22.46 and boosted the shares of its peer companies. JDS Uniphase added 4.9 [er cent to $13.99 while Juniper Networks rose 4.7 per cent to $18.84.

The sector also got a boost from Facebook, which jumped 3.7 per cent to $27.57.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 128.78 points, or 0.88 per cent, to 14,802.24 at the close. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 19.12 points, or 1.22 per cent, to 1,587.73. The Nasdaq Composite Index shot up 59.40 points, or 1.83 per cent, to close at 3,297.25.