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Dow reaches highest level in five years

Washington - The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to the highest level in five years Wednesday after positive US housing data and a rebound of European stocks amid gains in Italian bonds.

The Dow added 175.24 points, or 1.3 per cent, to advance to 14,075.37. The 30-stock gauge is 0.6 per cent away from its October 2007 all-time record, Bloomberg reported.

The Standard & Poor’s index rose 19.05 points, or 1.27 per cent, to 1,515.99, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 32.61 to 3,162.26, or 1.04 per cent.

The positive housing news showed contracts to purchase previously owned US homes up more than forecast in January. The markets interpreted this as a sign the industry will keep strengthening this year.

Among the day’s best performers were FedEx, the world’s largest cargo airline, which added 2.5 per cent, Bloomberg said.

Priceline.com, the biggest online travel agency by market value, added 2.6 per cent after revenue growth in international markets pushed profit past estimates.

Apple dropped 1 per cent after its annual shareholder meeting in San Francisco where shareholders reelected chairman and chief executive Tim Cook and his board with 99 per cent support. But the focus was on fund manager David Einhorn, who wants Apple to disburse much of its 137 billion dollar cash pile back to investors through preferred shares.//DPA




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