US STOCKS-Dow, S&P hit milestones as Wall St extends rally

Monday, 18 Nov 2013 | 10:27 AM ET

* Sony shares rally on PlayStation sales, pressure Microsoft

Airbus, Boeing shares jump

* Dow up 0.3 pct, S&P flat, Nasdaq off 0.2 pct

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, Nov 18 (Reuters) - The Dow and S&P 500 extended their record highs on Monday, ticking above 16,000 and 1,800 respectively, as trading continues to focus on economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve.

The Nasdaq Composite neared 4,000, a level it hasn't seen since September 2000. The round numbers on major levels could provide some technical resistance at first, but clearing them could attract investors and managers eager to chase performance.

"It could be these numbers cause us to stutter a little bit here," said John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management in New York.

Three Fed presidents are expected to speak Monday, with New York's William Dudley out on economic conditions at 12:15 p.m. EST (1715 GMT), Philadelphia's Charles Plosser on the economic outlook at 1:30 p.m. (1830 GMT) and Minneapolis' Narayana Kocherlakota on "Too Big to Fail: the Need for Metrics" at 7:45 p.m. (0045 GMT Tuesday).

With intervention from the Fed seen keeping interest rates near zero for the foreseeable future, equities are expected to continue to attract yield-seeking investors even after the Fed begins to slow its monthly asset purchases.

"The Fed is going to taper when the economy doesn't need the push any more," Manley said. "Support from the Fed will go away only when it's not needed."

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 39.7 points or 0.25 percent, to 16,001.4, the S&P 500 lost 0.65 points or 0.04 percent, to 1,797.53 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 6.857 points or 0.17 percent, to 3,979.111.

The S&P earlier hit 1,802.33 and the Dow 16,030.28, their highest levels ever. On Friday, both closed at record highs on their sixth straight week of gains.

Airbus and Boeing signed deals to buy about $5 billion of parts and materials from Abu Dhabi, in a sign Gulf states are seeking a reciprocal boost to their economies from the huge aircraft orders they have placed. Boeing shares added 2.9 percent to $140 after earlier hitting $142.

Sony Corp said on Sunday it had sold 1 million units of its new PlayStation 4 gaming console in the first 24 hours it was available in the United States and Canada. U.S.-traded Sony shares rose 2.3 percent to $18.92 while Microsoft, maker of competing console Xbox, fell 1.5 percent to $37.27. The new Xbox One console goes on sale Friday.

Tyson Foods shares rose 3.8 percent to $29.86 after it reported a better-than-expected quarterly operating profit and said it expected meat production to rise in the current fiscal year.

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