Dow Jones nears record high

3:29 PM, Feb 19, 2013   |    comments
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USA TODAY Staff and wires

Stocks rose Tuesday as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes set records while the Dow industrials continued to flirt with breaking an all-time record close of 14,164.63, set in October 2007.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 53.91 points to 14,035.67. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 11.15 points to 1,530.94.

The S&P 500 rose to its highest level in five years, on optimism over dealmaking and data showing rising investor confidence in Germany. The tech-laden Nasdaq composite index rose 21.56 to a 12-year high of 3,213.59.

Shares of Internet giant Google (GOOG) jumped to an all-time high of $806.84.

In other tech stock trading, shares of PC maker Dell (DELL) were flat at $13.82, ahead of reporting quarterly results after the closing bell Tuesday.

Shares of Office Depot (ODP) and OfficeMax (OMX) surged Tuesday after published reports the two office supply retailers are in talks to merge the companies in an all-stock deal. Office Depot was up 9% in late trading after being up as much as 20% earlier. Office Max shares were 19% after trading up as much as 30% earlier.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note was flat at 2%, while the price of gold fell 0.4% to $1,603.50 per ounce.

In currency trading, the euro was higher against the dollar at 1.339, while the dollar fell 0.4% to 93.52 cents against the Japanese yen.

U.S. markets were closed on Monday to observe Presidents' Day. On Friday, the Dow rose 8.37 points to close at 13,981.76, the S&P 500 shed 1.59 points to close at 1,519.79 and the Nasdaq composite fell 6.63 points to 3,192.03.

In European trading Tuesday, benchmark indexes in London, Paris and Frankfort ended higher a day after German economic data showed the continent's largest economy is avoiding recession despite severe slowdowns in most of the 17 nations that use the euro.

Britain's FTSE 100 ended up 1% at 6,379.07, while Germany's DAX 30 finished up 1.6% at 7,752.45. France's CAC 40 closed up 1.9% at 3,735.82.

Asia markets on Tuesday displayed little enthusiasm. In Japan, investors went for profits following Monday's strong rally. The Nikkei 225 index closed down 0.3% to 11,372.34. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index finished down 1% to 23,143.91. South Korea's Kospi ended flat at 1,981.91. China's SSE index closed down 1.6% to 2,382.91.

The price of crude oil was lower after the head of the European Central Bank described the economic outlook of the 17 countries that use the euro as weak in the near term.

Benchmark crude for March delivery was down 18 cents to $95.68 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.45 to finish at $95.86 a barrel on the Nymex on Friday.

Contributing: USA TODAY's Kim Hjelmgaard; Associated Press

USA TODAY Staff and wires

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