* Internet shares among day's gainers; Google hits new high
* More top hedge funds dropped Apple shares in first quarter
* Credit Suisse fear barometer falls to one-year low
* Dow up 0.4 pct, S&P 500 up 0.5 pct, Nasdaq up 0.3 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, May 15 U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday,
with the Dow and S&P 500 hitting new all-time highs in a broad
market rally as the recent upward momentum persisted.
The Nasdaq also hit its highest level since November 2000
although gains were limited by a steep decline in Apple
. Shares of the tech giant sold off in late afternoon
trading after filings from hedge funds showed that the one-time
Wall Street darling was dropped by more famous hedge fund
managers in the first quarter.
But shares of Apple's rival Google shot up to a new
record high at $916.38 on news that it has adopted a streaming
music business model.
The day's gains were broad, with nine of the S&P 500's 10
sectors ending higher. Among the top gainers were the consumer
staples sector index, up 1 percent, and the financial
sector, also up 1 percent. The only decliner was the
energy sector index, down 0.4 percent.
The overall market showed further signs of strength despite
the S&P 500 rising to a record for the fourth session in a row.
The broad market index has recorded 15 new closing highs this
An options gauge looking at the level of anxiety showed
signs that investors are placing optimistic wagers on the stock
market, positioning for the current run-up to extend for the
next three months.
Equities have rallied in recent weeks as investors bet that
central bank stimulus measures will keep supporting market
Such policies have helped spur advances of about 15 percent
in major U.S. indexes this year despite data showing some signs
of lackluster growth.
In the latest reads on the economy, activity in New York
state's manufacturing sector unexpectedly contracted in May.
Another report showed that U.S. industrial production fell more
than expected in April.
"It's disconcerting that the data was so much lower than
what we were looking for, but there's no reason for investors to
sell," said Michael Binger, senior portfolio manager at Gradient
Investments in Minneapolis.
"The main things driving the market - the Fed, earnings,
consumer confidence - are holding up, and people put money in
the market on any down day. I still see a lot of value."
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 60.44 points,
or 0.40 percent, to a record 15,275.69 at the close. The
Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 8.44 points, or 0.51
percent, to finish at a record 1,658.78. The Nasdaq Composite
Index gained 9.01 points, or 0.26 percent, to close at
During the session, the Dow touched an all-time intraday
high at 15,301.34, while the S&P 500 reached a record intraday
peak at 1,661.49. Earlier, the Nasdaq had hit a fresh 52-week
high at 3,475.48.
In signs that the rally may strengthen from the current
levels, the Credit Suisse Fear Barometer, known as the CSFB
Index, fell 11.4 points over the past two weeks - the largest
decline on record - and is now at a one-year low of 21.73.
"A low CSFB reading is a constructive signal for the
market," Credit Suisse equity derivatives strategist Mandy Xu
wrote in a note to clients.
The indicator essentially tracks the willingness of
investors to pay for downside protection with zero-premium
so-called collar trades that expire in three months, using S&P
500 index options.
Agilent Tech was one of the S&P 500's top percentage
gainers, up 3.9 percent to $45.68, a day after the company
posted adjusted earnings that beat expectations and doubled its
stock-buyback program to $1 billion.
Tech shares also got a lift from Netflix Inc, up 4
percent at $243.40, and Yahoo Inc, up 2.6 percent at
$27.34. In contrast, Computer Sciences Corp was the S&P
500's biggest loser, dropping 9.7 percent to $44.71 after
Shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb rose 5.1 percent to
$44.34 in anticipation of favorable data from clinical trials of
its melanoma drug. Limited data is expected to be released this
evening ahead of the annual meeting of the American Society for
Clinical Oncology, which begins on May 31.
In other data released on Wednesday, the U.S. Producer Price
Index recorded its largest drop in three years in April, falling
a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent.