US stocks BOOSTED by dovish Fed, Nasdaq hits fresh record

NEW YORK – The Nasdaq surged to its second straight record on Thursday as US stocks again posted strong gains following the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep interest rates low.

Apple jumped 0.9 per cent and Amazon 1.9 per cent, two of the big technology equities that helped lift the Nasdaq to 5,339.52, up 44.34 points (0.84 per cent) after also hitting a new high on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 98.76 points (0.54 per cent) at 18,392.46, while the broad-based S&P 500 gained 14.06 points (0.65 per cent) to 2,177.18.

“This is a continuation triggered by the Fed meeting,” said Alan Skrainka, chief investment officer at Cornerstone Wealth Management. “Investors are quite convinced that there will be, at most, one rate hike this year and most likely in December.”

Yahoo finished flat, missing the rally that lifted other technology companies, after disclosing that hackers, likely state-sponsored, penetrated its network in 2014, stealing data from some 500 million users.

Dow member Boeing rose 1.0 per cent following a World Trade Organisation ruling that said the European Union had failed to end illegal subsidies for Airbus.

Boeing said that under the ruling, the United States could levy retaliatory duties against the European Union of up to US$10 billion a year. The EU said that it found some of the WTO findings “to be unsatisfactory,” and noted it had the right to appeal the ruling.

Drug manufacturer Mylan rose 1.6 per cent after chief executive Heather Bresch defended the company against tough questioning in a congressional hearing on price increases of EpiPens, which are used to counter allergic reactions.

Software company Red Hat jumped 3.9 per cent as second-quarter net income rose 14.4 per cent to US$58.8 million.
– AFP/de

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