NEW YORK -- Stocks moved higher today, sending the Nasdaq composite index to its 12th new closing high this month, as investors were cheered by the combination of low inflation, steady economic growth and strong corporate profits.
Dow up 3;
Nasdaq hits record
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 3.06 to close at 11,203.60. The Nasdaq, which rose 127.28 yesterday for its biggest one-day point gain ever, added another 26.15 today to 3,923.26. It was the index's 57th record high close of 1999.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 2.56 at 1,435.99, also a new record.
Decliners beat advancers by a 7-to-6 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,419 up, 1,689 down and 441 unchanged.
NYSE volume totaled 849.97 million shares vs. 964.80 million yesterday. The NYSE composite index rose 1.27 to 634.16; the American Stock Exchange composite rose 4.79 to 839.43; the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 2.15 to 477.94
"The Santa Claus rally has begun and playing Santa is Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan," said Alfred Goldman, chief market strategist for A.G. Edwards & Sons in St. Louis. The Federal Reserve on Tuesday left interest rates unchanged, which sent technology stocks soaring to a new high.
The price of the Treasury's 30-year bond was up 1/8 point, or $1.25 per $1,000 in face value; its yield fell to 6.45 percent from 6.46 percent yesterday.
Japan's Nikkei average rose 2.1 percent, Germany's DAX index was up 1.2 percent, and Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.3 percent.