The Dow industrials inched up to hit another multiyear high, as investors got their first look at the new Apple (AAPL)
The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 9.99 points, or 0.1%, to 13333.35, to post its fifth gain in six days, placing the index at its highest level since December 2007. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index added three points, or 0.2%, to 1436.56, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 9.78 points, or 0.3%, to 3114.31.
Leading the gains were telecommunications and industrial stocks. Verizon Communications (VZ)
In corporate news, Apple staged a late-day rally to finish up 9.20, or 1.4%, to 669.79, after unveiling its much-anticipated iPhone 5. The product, which will feature a bigger screen, an improved camera and better battery life, was largely in line with consensus estimates.
"The iPhone has been so leaked at this point, it pretty much provided everything that everyone was expecting," said Michael Yoshikami, chief executive officer of Destination Wealth Management. However, he argued that sales numbers would likely top expectations. "I think they'll be astronomical," he said.
European markets finished a touch higher, after Germany's Constitutional Court cleared the way to allow the country to ratify the euro zone's permanent bailout fund. The Stoxx Europe 600 finished with a gain of 0.1%, at its highest closing level since July 8, 2011, and Germany's DAX climbed 0.5% to a seven-week high.
Taking some shine off the rally, data showed that U.K. unemployment increased in the three months to July, the first rise since the three months to November 2011. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 slipped 0.2%.
Asian markets rallied after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said economic growth would meet the official target of 7.5% for 2012. China's Shanghai Composite gained 0.3% and Japan's Nikkei Stock Average surged 1.7%.
In U.S. economic news, import prices rose in August but below expectations. U.S. wholesale inventories in July rose higher than expected.
Meanwhile, investors awaited the results of the Federal Reserve's rate-setting committee, which is set to announce its latest statement after its two-day meeting ends on Thursday. Expectations that new stimulus measures will be announced are running high and helped push the Dow on Tuesday to close at the highest level in nearly five years.
Crude-oil prices shed 0.2%, to $97.01 a barrel, while gold prices fell 0.1%, to $1,730.60 a troy ounce. The dollar fell against the euro, which traded intraday above $1.29 to a four-month high. The greenback gained ground against the yen. Demand for Treasurys fell, sending the yield on the 10-year note climbing to 1.765%.
In other stock news, Facebook (FB)
Home builders also were strong. PulteGroup (PHM)
Teen apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters (CHK)
Monster Beverage (MNST)
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