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Dow reaches a new high on improving sentiment

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shook off early weakness Tuesday and pressed through to another record close, led by strong gains in tech shares Microsoft and Intel.

The Dow rose 59.98 points (0.41 percent) to 14,673.46.

The broad-based S&P 500 jumped 5.54 (0.35 percent) to 1,568.61, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 15.61 (0.48 percent) to 3,237.86.

Technology shares drove the gains: Microsoft (+3.6 percent), Intel (+3.1 percent), Cisco (+1.9 percent) and Oracle (+2.1 percent).

A 2.1 percent rise by Dow member Caterpillar also helped.

"There's this feeling that overseas investors might be piling into large US equities that are deemed to be safe," said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at broker BTIG.

Solar cell maker First Solar surged 45.5 percent after surprising the market with a forecast for strong sales through 2015. The company projected $3.8-$4 billion in net sales in 2013.

Struggling retail giant J.C. Penney sank 12.2 percent one day after replacing controversial chief executive Ron Johnson with Johnson's predecessor Myron Ullman.

Nutrition and weight-management company Herbalife lost 3.8 percent after announcing that its accounting firm, KPMG, was resigning due to the alleged insider trading of a KPMG partner.

Popular footware maker Skechers gained 1.9 percent after it also announced that auditor KPMG was resigning after misconduct by a KPMG partner.

Starwood Property Trust gave up 3.8 percent after announcing a plan to issue 26.5 million shares to raise funds for investment in commercial mortgage assets.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.75 percent from 1.73 percent, while the 30-year bond edged to 2.93 percent from 2.90 percent. Bond prices move inversely to yields.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130409/dow-reaches-new-high-improving-sentiment-0