Dow Jones index pierces 14,000 mark
NEW YORK » The Dow Jones industrial average swept past 14,000 for the first time yesterday after a mostly tame inflation reading gave investors reason to extend an extraordinary -- but perhaps questionable -- Wall Street rally.
The stock market's best-known indicator crossed 14,000 in the first half-hour of trading though it didn't close above that level; it did, however, manage its fourth record close in as many sessions. The Dow rose as high as 14,021.95, having taken just 57 trading days to make the trip from 13,000. Broader market indicators closed mixed.
"One of the things we know about the Dow being only 30 stocks is that it is a bit less representative of the entire market, but it is still a sign that large-cap multinationals continue to drive this market," said Peter Dunay, an investment strategist with New York-based Leeb Capital Management. "For the moment, the momentum and strength is so good. You can't fight it."
Other analysts were more upbeat about the market's recent advance.
The Dow rose 20.57, or 0.15 percent, to close at 13,971.55.
Broader stock indicators ended mixed. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 0.15, or 0.01 percent, to 1,549.37 having set its own record highs in recent sessions. The Nasdaq composite index rose 14.96, or 0.55 percent, to 2,712.29.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 1.42, or 0.17 percent, to 849.89.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers by about 3 to 2 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 1.43 billion shares.
Bonds fell, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rising to 5.06 percent from 5.04 percent late Monday. The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices fell.
Light, sweet crude fell 13 cents to $74.02 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after trading as high as $75.35 per barrel.
The short time that it took the Dow to pass this its milestone recalls its ascent during the dot-com boom, especially because it took only 129 days to make the passage from 12,000 to 13,000.
In the late 1990s, the Dow took just 24 days to go from 10,000 to 11,000, and 89 days to go from 6,000 to 7,000.
The move higher yesterday came as Wall Street sorted through a somewhat mixed inflation reading and profit reports from blue chip names including Coca-Cola Co.
Coca-Cola saw its second-quarter profit rise 1 percent as sales at the world's largest beverage maker rose 19 percent. Case volume slipped 2 percent in the company's key North America market, however. The stock fell 68 cents to $53.17.
Word of buyouts continued, as Dutch chemicals company Basell agreed to acquire U.S. rival Lyondell Chemical Co. for $12.1 billion in cash. Including debt, the deal's size totals about $19 billion. Lyondell jumped $6.93, or 17.3 percent, to $47.05.
The gains also follow the U.S. Labor Department's report that inflation at the wholesale level fell in June but the so-called core figure, which excludes often-volatile food and energy costs, heated up more than expected.