Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke after the markets closed Wednesday, and his words suggesting the Fed was in no hurry to change its easing policy sent markets soaring ahead to record closes Thursday.
The rally was broad-based, with all three indices rising more than 1% on the day. The Nasdaq led the way, rising 1.63% to close at 3578.30 — its highest close in nearly 13 years. Meanwhile the S&P 500 rallied for a sixth straight day, closing up 1.36% to a record 1675.03. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also managed a new mark, rising 1.11% to close at 15461.07.
In corporate news, Microsoft (MSFT) saw its shares rise nearly 3% after CEO Steve Ballmer announced a realignment of the company into four new divisions aimed at a “One Microsoft” image for customers. The tech sector in general enjoyed another solid day, as Oracle (ORCL) rose more than 2%, while Apple (AAPL), Cisco (CSCO) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) shares all came in above the 1% mark.
Another tech on the rise was semiconductor stock Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), which soared more than 11% after Bank of America upgraded it from “underperform” to “buy.” Intel (INTC) appeared to benefit, too, finishing up 3%.
Gold stocks found new life with big moves in Eldorado Gold (EGO, +10.8%), Barrick Gold (ABX, +8.7%), Goldcorp (GG, +8.3%), and Newmont Mining (NEM, +5.7%). Meanwhile, the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) finished ahead nearly 3%.
- Rockwell Medical (RMTI): Up 15.7% (59cents) to $4.31.
- Ciena (CIEN): Up 10.1% ($1.99) to $21.72.
- Celgene (CELG): Up 7.9% ($9.82) to $134.90.
- Radioshack (RSH): Down 7.1% (20 cents) to $2.63.
- Molycorp (MCP): Down 4.1% (29 cents) to $6.79.
- Groupon (GRPN): Down 2.1% (18 cents) to $8.62.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long MSFT and AAPL.