Nasdaq, S&P 500 reach record highs

The Dow gains more than 240 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq reaches a new high.

Scott Ard Former Editor in Chief, CNET
CNET former Editor in Chief Scott Ard has been a journalist for more than 20 years and an early tech adopter for even longer. Those two passions led him to editing one of the first tech sections for a daily newspaper in the mid 1990s, and to joining CNET part-time in 1996 and full-time a few years later.
Scott Ard
2 min read
The Nasdaq index reached a new high and the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged today after a report showed that wage pressures are easing.

The Dow gained 247.12, or 2.24 percent, to close at 11,286.18. At one point during the day, the Dow had gained more than 300 points.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped 67.85 points, or about 2 percent, to close at 3,520.63. It crossed the 3,500 mark just three weeks after it surpassed 3,000. Earlier in the day the Nasdaq was up more than 100 points.

The S&P 500 added 24.26 points, or 1.7 percent, closing at a record high of 1,433.3.

The CNET technology index soared 64.75 points to 2,661.89. Some of the tech stocks participating in today's rally included: IBM, up 7.3 to 112.56; Apple Computer, up 4.81 to 115; Atmel, up 4.38 to 52.44; Yahoo, up 7.19 to 253; and Microsoft, up 1.31 to 96.12.

The rally was sparked by two jobs-related reports. The Labor Department reported that average hourly wages rose 0.1 percent last month, the slowest pace in three months and less than what economists expected.

In addition, the government reported that the U.S. unemployment remained at 4.1 percent for the second consecutive month.

Labor costs are closely watched by investors because they account for about two-thirds of consumer prices. If the Federal Reserve perceived that consumer prices are rising rapidly, it would likely raise interest rates and put a damper on the red-hot stock market. As a result, today's wage report was interpreted as reducing the likelihood that interest rates will be increased in the near future.