The Nasdaq composite index topped 4,000 for the first time and Dow Jones industrial soared more than 200 points into record territory today as stocks moved sharply higher in a broad-based rally.
The Nasdaq composite closed up 32.20 to 3,969.50, after hitting a high of 4,001.63 earlier. The Nasdaq has already set 12 closing highs this month. The technology-dominated index, which is now up 80 percent for the year, first soared above 3,000 on Nov. 3.
The Dow was up 202.16 to 11,405.76, surpassing its closing high of 11,326.04, set on Aug. 25. And the Standard & Poor's 500 index also reached a new high, rising 22.21 to 1,458.34. That gave the index a gain of 37.31 for the week and an 18 percent rise year-to-date.
Twenty-six of the 30 Dow stocks rose, led by Hewlett-Packard, up 5 1 1/1 6 at 112 5/8 and Merck, up 2 9/1 6 to 69 3/4 .
Computer and telecommunications concerns once again powered the Nasdaq, led by Dell Computer, up 2 3/8 to 52 1 1/1 6 and MCI WorldCom, up 4 1/2 at 81.
Even pharmaceutical stocks, which have lagged the overall market much of the year, enjoyed a healthy rebound with Bristol-Myers Squibb, up 3 1/2 to 66 1 1/1 6, Warner-Lambert, up 2 3/1 6 to 85 1/8 , leading the way.
Qualcomm Inc., leading the Standard & Poor's 500 this year with a 1707 percent gain, fell 18 1 5/1 6 to 466 1/2 after the company said it will sell its phone-making unit to Kyocera Corp. of Japan. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. rose 1 1 1/1 6 to 67 3/8 , helping to send the S&P 500 higher. U.S. retail sales at stores open at least a year surged 7.9 percent last week, keeping the holiday season on track to meet or beat forecasts, according to Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd.
Gemstar International Group Ltd. rose 9 5/1 6 to 74 1 5/1 6 after the Nasdaq Stock Market said it will be added to the Nasdaq 100 Index on Jan. 3. Gemstar will replace Qwest Communications International Inc., which is moving to the NYSE.
The stock market will be closed Friday in observance of the Christmas holiday.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 5-to-3 margin on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 4.49 to 482.43.