Nasdaq hits 6000, Dow surges as earnings impress

Wall Street stocks rose again today, with the Nasdaq climbing above 6,000 for the first time and the Dow gaining following a series of mostly strong earnings from blue-chip companies.

The index had breached the 5,000 mark on March 7, 2000 and closed above that level two days later during the height of the tech boom.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose as much as 0.4% to hit a record level of 6 007.72 helped by gains in Biogen and Apple. Centrist Macron won the largest vote share in the first round of elections to set up a run-off against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 155.57 points, or 0.75 per cent, at 20,919.46, the S&P 500 was up 7.87 points, or 0.331487 per cent, at 2,382.02 and the Nasdaq composite was up 20.35 points, or 0.34 per cent, at 6,004.17. Almost half of the blue-chip index's gains came from heavyweights McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) and Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) which both posted better-than-expected first-quarter results.

Investors await delivery on a pledge last week from President Donald Trump, who said he planned to release "a big tax reform and tax reduction" plan on Wednesday.

Shares in Caterpillar jumped more than 6% after the construction equipment maker reported better-than-expected quarterly results and raised its sales forecast. Ten of its 11 major sectors were higher.

Hasbro, Inc. beat investors' expectations in earnings and sales in the first quarter thanks to digital gaming.

Sandwich supplier AdvancePierre Foods APFH.N jumped 9.2 percent after Tyson Foods TSN.N said it would buy the company for about $3.2 billion in cash.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1 857 to 741.

The S&P 500 index showed 77 52-week highs and three lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 164 highs and 26 lows.

  • Zachary Reyes