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Dow, S&P 500 end at record highs again

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NEW YORK — The Dow and the S&P 500 eked out record closing highs again on Tuesday, while the Nasdaq resumed its recent slide, dragged down by shares of Cisco.

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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 percent.

“We didn’t see much of a follow-through from yesterday’s run-up. That started a discussion as to whether the economy was going to bounce back as strongly as some folks had been expecting,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president of BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.

“We’ve eked out a gain in the broad averages but continue to see weakness in the Nasdaq and small caps so that divergence has got some investors concerned. What you see is a smaller group of stocks participating in the rally.”

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 percent to $4.57 while Freddie Mac advanced 6.9 percent to $4.49.

Cisco Systems Inc., set to report results on Wednesday, was the biggest drag on the Nasdaq. The stock slid 1.4 percent to end at $22.86.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 19.97 points or 0.12 percent, 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 percent, 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 percent, to 4,130.165.

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