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Dow Jones hits first record high of 2014


economy

Dow Jones hits first record high of 2014

There were celebrations on Wall Street on Wednesday as the Dow Jones index closed at its first record high of 2014.

Investors had apparently brushed aside data showing weak first quarter economic growth linked to the severe winter which hampered exports and hit investment spending.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 45.47 points or 0.27 percent, to 16,580.84. The S&P 500 gained 5.62 points or 0.3 percent, to 1,883.95 and the Nasdaq Composite added 11.013 points or 0.27 percent, to 4,114.556.

The upbeat mood was due to the Federal Reserve’s positive view of the US economy’s general prospects. It announced another cut to its massive bond-buying programme, signalling a recognition of a pick up in economic activity.

The Fed said it would reduce its monthly bond purchases to $45 billion from $55 billion, as expected. That will keep it on track to end the stimulus programme as soon as October.

Early in the Wall Street trading session we learned that gross domestic product expanded at a 0.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2014, the slowest pace since the fourth quarter of 2012.

But investors – and the Fed – seem to be confident that economic activity is already bouncing back.

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