Technology stocks bounded higher, driving the Nasdaq composite index to a new record high and lifting the broader market in a quiet session ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 12.54 to close at 11,008.17. Earlier, the Dow dipped as much as 46 points.
Broader indicators also bounced back from early losses to finish significantly higher. The Nasdaq gained 77.63 to finish at 3420.50. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose 12.44, to 1417.08.
Volume started out low and tapered off over the course of the session as traders got an early start on the Thanksgiving holiday. The market will be closed on Thursday and operate for a half-day on Friday.
And with little news to move the market, investors opted to stock up on familiar favorites: the technology companies that have already outperformed the broad market this year.
"There was absolutely no catalyst to sell and plenty of reasons to buy," said Arthur Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co. "I would not bet against this market."
Intel rose 3-3/16, to 82-3/16, as of 5:45 p.m., boosting the Dow and the Nasdaq. Intuit rose 6-5/16, to 50 3/8, after announcing a deal to become the exclusive online bill-management service for America Online members.
Heading into the peak holiday shopping season, Internet retailers were mostly higher. Amazon.com rose 5 1/2, to 87 1/4, and eToys gained 5 3/8, to 64 3/8.
IBM fell 2, to 104-1/16, providing a notable exception to the technology rally. In an article published today, the Wall Street Journal raised questions about the company's accounting practices. IBM was the biggest decliner among Dow stocks.
While investors ultimately found plenty of reasons to buy, the latest round of government reports unsettled the market this morning. Stocks initially fell after the Commerce Department reported that the gross domestic product soared by 5.5 percent in the third quarter, the best showing since the end of last year.
Separately, the Labor Department said the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week fell unexpectedly by 13,000 to 274,000, the lowest level since mid-September.
The government reports suggested the economy's sizzling growth is not slowing, despite a series of interest-rate increases by the Federal Reserve. The Fed has raised rates three times, hoping to slow the economy enough to prevent inflation from escalating.
"The report supported the view that the expansion remains on solid footing," said Michael Moran, chief economist at Daiwa Securities America.
Bond prices fell after the reports. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond rose as high as 6.22 percent from 6.19 percent late Tuesday, luring some investors away from stocks in favor of the rising return on bonds.
But bonds recovered a bit later in the shortened session ahead of Thanksgiving, and traders suggested that restored confidence among stock investors. In late trading, the price of the benchmark bond was down $1.25 per $1,000 invested and its yield was at 6.20 percent.
In after-hours trading, Bloomberg News reported, Ariel Corp. surged 45 percent after more than tripling during the regular session. The maker of modem cards for Internet access providers rallied after the company said several government agencies worldwide approved the use of its new product.
Ariel, of Cranbury, N.J., rose 4 7/8, to 15 5/8, after hours. The stock had soared 7-3/16, to 10 3/4, in the regular session.