Technology stocks, the dominant force on Wall Street this year, yesterday helped boost four market indicators to record levels.
The Nasdaq composite, which lists most of the world's leading technology companies, finished above 4000 just 38 trading days after its first close above 3000. It rose 69.35 to close at 4041.46, easily eclipsing its previous record of 3975.38, set Monday.
The Dow rose 7.95, to 11,484.66, sliding past its previous record of 11,476.71, reached on Tuesday.
The Standard & Poor's 500 gained 5.80 to a record 1,463.46. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 8.54 to 497.02, its first new record since April 21, 1998. In every case, technology led the advance.
Holding fast to a pattern that has troubled analysts this year, the Nasdaq's gains came largely from one stock: Qualcomm, which rose 156 to 659 after a Wall Street analyst suggested that its shares should reach 1,000 within 12 months.
Qualcomm developed code division multiple access technology, which is becoming the dominant technology used in cellular phones and wireless communications.
"We believe it is an appropriate way to invest in the long-term growth trends of wireless and data," PaineWebber analyst Walter Piecyk said in a research note.
Qualcomm is already the best-performing stock on the Nasdaq this year, having gained more than 2,000 percent as investors embraced the promise of its new technology.
Still, a handful of other technology stocks posted solid gains. DoubleClick, an Internet advertising firm, rose 28-3/16, to 249 1/8, after Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette said shares should reach 300 within six to 12 months.
Most online brokerages rose after Charles Schwab Corp. said it expects to beat analysts' profit forecasts for the fourth quarter. Schwab rose 5-11/16, to 40, after saying that trading volume in December was the best ever.
Ameritrade and E-Trade also gained, as analysts said the online trading boom likely extended well beyond Schwab. Ameritrade rose 2 7/8, to 23 3/8, and ETrade gained 2 3/4, to 28 1/2.
The technology frenzy extended to blue-chip stocks as well. Hewlett Packard rose 2-5/16, to 113 5/8.
"We are in a second industrial revolution, which is growing out of technology, telecommunications and the Internet," said Alfred E. Goldman, chief market strategist at A.G. Edwards & Co. in St. Louis. "We continue to believe that quality technology companies are very attractive for long-term growth."
American Express was the strongest Dow component, rising 3 3/4, to 165 1/2. DuPont gained 1 5/8, to 65 7/8, heartening analysts who have worried that technology has dominated the market to the exclusion of any other sector.
"We're seeing some good rotation, which is a nice change of pace," Peroni said.