Stocks vaulted higher today, with the Nasdaq composite and Standard and Poor's 500-stock indexes again setting records, as investors reveled in the new interest rate environment.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 95.62, to close at 11,066.42. The blue-chip index held steadily above 11,000 for the first time in weeks, and during the session, inched within 28 points of its May 13 record close of 11,107.19. So far this week, the Dow has gained 513.86 points.
A resurgence in technology stocks boosted the Nasdaq 20.06, to 2706.18, topping the record it set Wednesday. The S&P 500 rose 8.25, to 1380.96, also surpassing its Wednesday record high.
"There is an extraordinary amount of enthusiasm," said William Meehan, chief market analyst for Cantor Fitzgerald.
The market was especially heartened by the fact that the Federal Reserve, after raising short-term interest rates one-quarter percentage point, shifted on Wednesday to a "neutral" bias on the need for future rate increases.
Leading the market today were semiconductor stocks such as Intel, which rose 3 3/8, to 62 7/8. Technology stocks had slumped in the weeks leading up to the Fed's decision, as traders moved money toward lower-priced stocks that looked like better bargains in case higher rates began reducing profits.
As trading began today, stocks appeared to have ended their big run-up. Prices faltered in tandem with those of bonds, which dropped after the National Association of Purchasing Management reported that the manufacturing sector expanded at a stronger-than-expected pace in June, which suggested that the threats of inflation may not have evaporated. But stock investors shrugged off the bond market's concerns.
Drug stocks, which have languished for much of this year, were higher across the board. Eli Lilly led the sector, rising 3 1/4, to 74 7/8, after Lehman Brothers added the stock to its list of "10 Uncommon Values."
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones by more than 4 to 3 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume totaled 843.4 million shares, down from 1.15 billion Wednesday.
The NYSE composite index rose 3.20, to 651.33; the American Stock Exchange composite index fell 2.98, to 794.95; and the Russell 2000 fell 3.26, to 454.42.