Business Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) 05 Jun 2018 04:55AM(Updated: 05 Jun 2018 05:32AM) Share this content
NEW YORK: Solid gains in tech stocks drove the Nasdaq to a fresh record on Monday (Jun 4) as markets shrugged off political turmoil in Europe and a breakdown in trade relations between major economic powers.
Gains in blue chips, including retailer Walmart and brewing giant AB-InBev pressed the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 178.48 points (0.72 per cent) to 24,813.69.
The broad S&P 500 added 12.25 points (0.45 per cent) to 2,746.87, while the Nasdaq jumped 52.13 points (0.69 per cent) to 7,606.46. The previous Nasdaq record was 7,588.33 on Mar 12.
Tech stocks were boosted by Twitter’s 3.5 per cent gain, which put the social messaging platform up 55 per cent since the beginning of 2018.
Apple announced a new, more secure operating system for its mobile devices and computers, pushing its shares up 0.8 per cent.
The industry also got a push from Microsoft’s announcement that it will buy software development platform GitHub in a deal worth US$7.5 billion. Microsoft shares were up 0.9 per cent.
AB-InBev, the brewer of Budweiser and other top global brands, jumped 3.1 per cent. Drug manufacturer Merck added 2.4 per cent helped by a promising report on its Keytruda drug for treating various cancers.
Davis Levy of Republic Wealth Advisors said that markets continued to ride on strength in the technology sector.
“The overall leadership has been what we saw for some time with tech stocks,” he said.
Meanwhile, he added, “Markets ignored the potential finalisation of trade restrictions and tariffs” by the United States, which has picked a simultaneous trade war with neighbours Mexico and