Dow Ends Above 18,000 for First Time; S&P Hits Record Close, Too

Peter Tuchman wears a "DOW 18,000" hat on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014. The Dow passed 18,000 points for the first time. (Photo: Seth Wenig, AP)
Peter Tuchman wears a “DOW 18,000” hat on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014. The Dow passed 18,000 points for the first time.
(Photo: Seth Wenig, AP)

The Dow and the S&P 500 stretched further into record territory following news of 5% economic growth and the strongest consumer sentiment since 2007, with the blue-chip index crossing 18,000 for the first time and closing above that milestone.

The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 ended up 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively. The Nasdaq composite lost 0.3%.

The Dow shot past the 18,000 milestone for the first time at the opening bell. Both the Dow and S&P notched new intraday highs Tuesday.

Consumer spending is also strong, another economic report Tuesday morning shows. It was buoyed last month by rising wages and plunging gasoline prices.

Consumption increased 0.6% after rising 0.3% in October, which was revised upward from 0.2%, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Economists expected a 0.5% increase.

The U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace since 2003 in the third quarter on stronger consumer and business spending.

Gross domestic product expanded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5% in the three months ended Sept. 30, higher than the 3.9% previously estimated, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. The reading was the government’s third and final estimate.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for December rose to 93.6 from 88.8 in November, Bloomberg reports. That is the highest level since January 2007.

Real estate data provided a downer note to Tuesday’s economic news. Sales of new single-family homes fell 1.6% from October, the Commerce Department reports. That undershot forecasts of a small increase.

On Monday, the S&P 500 and the Dow hit new record closing highs.

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SOURCE: USA Today
Paul Davidson and Ed Brackett

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