Nasdaq notches 6th straight record closing high

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The Nasdaq Composite notched a new closing high for the sixth straight session on Monday as investors — concerned about the slowing pace of US growth and emboldened by the strong start to the earnings season so far in the technology sector — piled into growth stocks.

The tech-heavy benchmark ended the day 0.7 per cent higher at 6,091.60, a new closing high. The gauge had also set a new intraday record after rallying as much as 0.9 per cent to cross the 6,100 mark – less than a week after it broke past the 6,000 level.

Apple, Amazon, Facebook — part of the so-called “fang” stocks that have driven Nasdaq’s 13 per cent rally so far this year — closed at record highs on Monday after setting new intraday highs earlier in the day.

The S&P 500 continues to flirt with the record high set two months earlier. The index closed up 0.2 per cent at 2,388.33, not far from the 2,400.98 closing and intraday high reached on March 1.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, despite strong gains from Apple and Microsoft, retreated 0.1 per cent to 20,976.62 — leaving it some ways off from its March highs.

The gains in technology stocks come as investors digest the latest batch of economic data released on Monday, which showed growth in US manufacturing slowed in April and American consumer spending flat for the second straight month in March.

The data adds to concerns raised on Friday after US gross domestic product turned in its slowest pace of growth in three years during the first quarter.

By contrast, technology companies continue to deliver solid growth. Amazon and Alphabet have seen their shares climb 3.2 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively since Thursday after reporting stronger than expected revenue growth and healthier margins.

Apple and Facebook, both of which are due to report their first quarter results later this week, closed up 2 per cent and 1.4 per cent on Monday amid expectations that they too would deliver upbeat first quarter results.

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