The Dow and S&P 500 ended at record highs on Tuesday after economic data supported views that the Federal Reserve would keep its stimulus intact for several months and IBM rallied after the company announced a stock buyback.
IBM gave the biggest boost to the Dow, which led the day's gains. The stock, which also helped drive the S&P 500's advance, jumped 2.7% to $182.12 after the company's board of directors approved another $15 billion for stock buybacks.
In the latest economic data, a gauge of U.S. consumer spending rose in September, but another report showed consumer confidence fell sharply in October because of worries about the impact of the partial government shutdown.
The data added to evidence of sluggish economic growth just as the Fed began a two-day policy meeting. Expectations are high that officials are unlikely to shift monetary policy this week as they wait for more evidence of how badly Washington's budget battle has hurt the U.S. economy.
Limiting some of the day's gains in both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500, Apple shares dropped 2.5% to $516.68 a day after the iPad and iPhone maker delivered disappointing results.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 111.42 points, or 0.72%, to end at 15,680.35, a record close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 9.84 points, or 0.56%, to finish at 1,771.95, also a record closing high. The S&P 500 hit another intraday record high at 1,772.09.
The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 12.21 points, or 0.31%, to close at 3,952.34.
Tuesday's rally brings the S&P 500's gain for the year to date to 24.2%.
In the latest technical issue to befall the Nasdaq exchange, the Nasdaq OMX Group said human error left the exchange unable to transmit index values for nearly 45 minutes, leading to a temporary halt in options trading on some stock indexes.
After the bell, shares of LinkedIn dropped 3.1% to $239.45 after the social networking company for recruiters and job seekers gave a conservative revenue forecast for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2013. LinkedIn shares ended the regular session at $247.14, up 1.7%. Shares of video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc rose 2.8% to $24.80 in extended-hours trading after the company reported a higher quarterly profit. In regular trading, Electronic Arts shares fell 2.8% to close at $24.13.
During the regular session, the Dow also got a boost from Pfizer Inc, which rose 1.7% to $31.25 after the largest U.S. drugmaker reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings.
As has been the case in recent quarters, more companies have been beating analysts' earnings expectations than revenue expectations. With results in from 281 of the S&P 500 companies, 68.7% have topped profit expectations, above the long-term average of 63%, while just 52.5%have beaten revenue estimates, below the 61% rate since 2002.
JPMorgan Chase was down 0.1% at $52.73 after a person familiar with the situation said the preliminary $13 billion deal set by the bank's CEO and the U.S. attorney general has hit a stumbling block.
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