(Bloomberg) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 18,000 for the first time as faster-than-forecast growth in gross domestic product boosted confidence in the economy as the Federal Reserve pledges patience with interest rate increases.
Technology companies have had some of the biggest gains in the Dow this year with Intel Corp. rising more than 43 percent and Microsoft Corp. jumping 28 percent. Consumer companies such as Home Depot Inc., Walt Disney Co. and Nike Inc. have also risen at least 22 percent to lead the 30-stockgauge’s advance.
The Dow rose 50.54 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,009.98 at 9:31 p.m. in New York. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 0.3 percent to 2,083.72.
“The market was roaring yesterday, and going into the end of the year it keeps pushing higher,” Stephen Carl, principal and head equity trader at New York-based Williams Capital Group LP, said in a phone interview. “The Fed is part of the fueling of everything, and you have to couple that with the year-end push.”
It’s been 172 days since the Dow closed above 17,000 on July 3, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s the fifth- fastest trip between thousands, with the record being 35 days to 11,000 in May 1999. It took the index almost 5,200 days to go from 1,000 to 2,000 between 1972 and 1987, according to Howard Silverblatt, an index analyst at the New York-based S&P Dow Jones Indices.
The Dow closed at an eight-month low on Oct. 16 before rallying more than 1,882 points, or 12 percent, to today’s record.
The gauge has risen about 175 percent during the five-year bull market that began in March 2009, propelled by better-than- estimated corporate results and three rounds of Fed bond purchases. The S&P 500 has more than tripled in that time.