Dow pushes to new trading high
Major stock gauges recover after a shaky start, with the Dow industrials topping its record trading high.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- After a shaky start Wednesday morning, stocks turned higher, with the Dow Jones industrial average hitting a new record trading high, after closing at its best level ever on Tuesday.
The Dow industrials (up 26.57 to 11,753.91, Charts) added 0.4 percent around two hours into the session, topping its record trading high of 11,758.95 hit Tuesday. On Tuesday, it closed at 11,727.34, taking out the record close from 6-1/2 years earlier.
The S&P 500 (up 2.64 to 1,336.75, Charts) index added 0.3 percent. Last week, the broader average hit a 5-1/2 year high.
The Nasdaq composite (up 16.22 to 2,259.87, Charts) jumped nearly 1 percent.
Tuesday's run had been fueled by lower oil prices, but oil prices rebounded a bit Wednesday.
Morning economic news was mixed. August factory orders were unchanged, after falling a revised 0.6 percent in the previous month. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com thought orders would fall 0.2 percent.
The Institute for Supply Management's September read on the services sector of the economy fell to 52.9, below forecasts for a drop to 56 from the 59 level hit in August. A reading above 50 points to growth in the sector.
Gains were broad-based, with 22 out of 30 Dow issues rising, seven falling and one little changed.
Earlier in the week, the retailer said sales at stores open a year or more had risen 1.8 percent, but now it says the correct number is 1.3 percent, near the low end of the range it initially gave investors.
Valero Energy (down $0.49 to $47.68, Charts) rose after saying late Tuesday that it expected to report record third-quarter earnings-per-share of $2.25 to $2.35. The range is below analysts' estimates, but investors focused on the record and pushed shares higher Wednesday.
In the afternoon, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is speaking.
Oil turned lower, with U.S. light crude for November delivery slipping 38 cents to $58.30 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, following a mixed weekly oil inventory report. Oil tumbled 4 percent on Tuesday.
COMEX gold for December delivery fell $4 to $577.50 an ounce, after slumping more than $22 Tuesday.
Treasury prices rallied, lowering the yield on the 10-year note to 4.57 percent from 4.61 percent late Monday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.