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Historic day, Dow surges to record highs

5 Mar

Service sector grows at fastest pace in a year

 The pace of growth in the vast U.S. services sector accelerated to its fastest pace in a year in February, helped by a rise in new orders and demand for exports, an industry report showed on Tuesday.

The Institute for Supply Management said its services index rose to 56 from 55.2 in January, exceeding economists’ forecasts for 55. It was the highest level since February 2012.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

The new orders index jumped to 58.2 from 54.4, while orders for exports rose to their highest level since May 2007 with that gauge at 60.5, up from January’s 55.5.

PMI services

After hitting an intraday record at the open on Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average extended gains after the service sector data.

If the Dow ends the day at these levels, it will also set a new record closing high, above 2007’s 14,164.53.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow rose above 14,198.10, the intraday all-time high reached in October 2007, when the world was heading toward the financial crisis.

Analysts said Tuesday’s advance was due less to one specific catalyst and more to the same factors that have been driving the rally this year, namely attractive valuations and liquidity from loose monetary policy around the world.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 129.77 points, or 0.92 percent, at 14,257.59. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 13.72 points, or 0.90 percent, at 1,538.92. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 33.12 points, or 1.04 percent, at 3,215.15.

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