* S&P 500 breaks through intraday record shortly after open
* Dow pops above 14,800 to set a fresh intraday record high
* Tech shares among the day's leaders, JDS Uniphase rallies
* FOMC minutes released, ahead of schedule, at 9 a.m. EDT
* Dow up 0.9 pct, S&P 500 up 1.2 pct, Nasdaq up 1.8 pct
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, April 10 U.S. stocks climbed 1 percent
on Wednesday, with both the Dow and S&P 500 ending at historic
highs as cyclical shares led the way higher for a second
The S&P 500 finally joined the new all-time intraday high
club, surging past a record set on Oct. 11, 2007. The index has
struggled to breach the level of 1,576.09 for the past several
weeks, but broke above it on Wednesday to rise as high as
1,589.07. The Dow also hit another intraday milestone, rising as
high as 14,826.66.
"The path of least resistance for the market remains higher,
and despite some mixed economic data, investors are concluding
that stocks remain a better place to be than risk-free assets,"
said Jim McDonald, chief investment strategist at Chicago-based
Northern Trust Global Investments, which has about $760 billion
in assets under management.
Gains were broad, with all but two of the S&P 500's 10
primary sectors up more than 1 percent. More than three-fourths
of stocks traded on the Nasdaq ended higher, while 73 percent of
New York Stock Exchange-listed shares did.
In another encouraging sign, volume was higher than it has
been recently, with about 6.24 billion shares changing hands on
the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and NYSE MKT. However,
volume remained below the daily average so far this year of
about 6.36 billion shares.
With the day's gains, major indexes are up about 10 percent
for the year, but many investors viewed the strength in
cyclicals - groups closely tied to the pace of economic growth -
as a sign that the rally still has staying power. The Dow Jones
Transportation Average, viewed as a leading indicator for
the broader market, rose 1.8 percent.
Tech was the day's strongest group, with the S&P technology
sector index up 1.8 percent. The group was lifted by
strong results at Adtran Inc, which jumped 14 percent
to $22.46 and boosted the shares of its peer companies. JDS
Uniphase Corp added 4.9 percent to $13.99 while Juniper
Networks Inc rose 4.7 percent to $18.84.
The sector also got a boost from Facebook Inc, which
jumped 3.7 percent to $27.57.
The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 128.78
points, or 0.88 percent, to 14,802.24 at the close. The Standard
& Poor's 500 Index climbed 19.12 points, or 1.22 percent,
to 1,587.73. The Nasdaq Composite Index shot up 59.40
points, or 1.83 percent, to close at 3,297.25.
The day marked the best session for both the Dow and the S&P
500 since Feb. 27, and the best for the Nasdaq since Jan. 2. The
Nasdaq climbed to a session high of 3,299.15, its highest since
"After we broke above the high, we saw momentum accelerate
as investors saw it as a release of resistance," said Katie
Stockton, chief market technician at MKM Partners in Greenwich,
Connecticut. "By definition, there is no more resistance for the
S&P now that we're at new highs."
The CBOE Volatility index, a measure of investor
anxiety, fell 3.7 percent.
Stockton added that if the S&P 500 held above its old high,
"the next target would be 1,780."
The Federal Reserve unexpectedly released the minutes from
its most recent policy-setting meeting five hours early. The
minutes showed a few policymakers expected to taper the pace of
asset purchases by mid-year and end them later this year, while
several others expected to slow the pace a bit later and halt
the quantitative easing program by year-end.
Accommodative monetary policy from the Fed has been credited
with helping to boost equity prices, and uncertainty surrounding
the minutes briefly hit indexes in the premarket session, though
they subsequently recovered.
"The only way quantitative easing will be tapered off is if
the labor market shows noticeable improvement, and the most
recent data doesn't show that," said Northern Trust's McDonald,
referring to the March payroll report, which fell sharply short
"QE will only be taken away when we're in a self-sustaining
recovery. We're not there yet, which points to the Fed
continuing to stimulate the economy."
Among the 5 percent of S&P 500 companies that have reported
results so far, almost three-quarters have topped expectations,
according to Thomson Reuters data.
But quarterly profits are expected to grow just 1.5 percent
from a year ago, down from a January estimate of 4.3 percent.
The lowered expectations could make it easier for companies to
beat analysts' estimates and propel the market further.
Family Dollar Stores reported weaker-than-expected
earnings, but rebounded off earlier declines to rise 1.1 percent
Hospital operator Health Management Associates Inc
cut its outlook for 2013 earnings and revenue, citing weak
patient-admission figures in the first quarter of the year. The
stock plummeted 16.4 percent to $10.53.