Wall Street ended mostly higher on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 closing at an all-time high on Apple's bullish results, though Boeing weighed on the Dow and conflicts in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip kept the broader market's gains in check.
The Dow Jones industrial average declined 27 points or 0.16%, to end at 17,087. The S&P 500 rose three points or 0.18%, to close at 1,987, surpassing the record set on 3 July. The Nasdaq Composite added 18 points or 0.4%, to 4,474.
Overseas issues continued to limit the market's gains. Two Ukrainian fighter jets were downed near the area where a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet was shot down last week, a spokesman for Ukraine's military operations said yesterday.
Violence also continued in the Gaza Strip, though US Secretary of State John Kerry said indirect truce talks between Israel and Hamas had made some progress.
Apple Inc gave one of the biggest lifts to the market, rising 2.6% as concerns faded about the iPhone maker's margins. Dow component Microsoft Corp rose 0.1% after the company said it aimed to get its money-losing Nokia phone unit to break even within two years.
Biotech stocks ranked among the day's biggest gainers, boosted by some strong results and drug trial data. Biogen Idec shot up 11.2% after reporting sharply higher-than-expected quarterly revenue. Intuitive Surgical rose 17.7%. Puma Biotechnology nearly quadrupled, up 295.4%.
However, Boeing Co.’s results dragged the Dow Jones lower. Its shares fell 2.3% after reporting a 52% jump in quarterly profit, but investors were spooked by rising costs in its military tanker programme.
Facebook Inc posted stronger-than-expected revenue growth and its stock climbed 3.5% in extended-hours trading.
TripAdvisor Inc (TRIP.O) shares tumbled 9.4% in after-hours trading after the travel website company reported earnings that missed expectations.
The shares of Dow component AT&T Inc shares slipped 1.4% in extended-hours trading after the No. 2 US mobile provider reported revenue that missed analysts' forecasts.
In Asia, shares traded near a six-year high on Thursday in morning trade after the S&P 500 Index climbed to a record and Facebook Inc. posted earnings that beat estimates.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed at 149 as of 9:50 a.m. in Tokyo. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.1%. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index climbed 0.3% after the central bank raised its benchmark interest rate.
Japan’s Topix index gained less than 0.1%, after falling 0.1% earlier. South Korea’s Kospi index slipped 0.1%.