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US markets barrel to fresh records

Trader Christopher Morie works on his handheld device on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on April 29, 2013. US stocks continued their upward climb Wednesday, riding positive economic data from Germany and China to new records. AP/RICHARD DREW

NEW YORK—US stocks continued their upward climb Wednesday, riding positive economic data from Germany and China to new records.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 48.92 (0.32 percent) to 15,105.12.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 6.73 (0.41 percent) to 1,632.69, its fifth consecutive record.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 16.64 (0.49 percent) to 3,413.27.

The gains came on a quiet day for US economic and business news. However, investors were heartened by positive German industrial production data and higher Chinese exports.

“Individual investors are regaining confidence,” said Alan Skrainka, chief investment officer at Cornerstone Wealth Management.

Investors are choosing stocks because of a “general sense that the economy is starting to get better” as well as the “lack of a viable alternative” for investment, Skrainka said.

Dow member McDonald’s fell 1.3 percent after reporting a 0.6 percent decline in comparable sales in April. On the positive side, the company said US sales rose 0.7 percent.

Microsoft lost 1.0 percent after the company said it would revise its Windows 8 operating system following customer complaints.

Nasdaq-listed British football team Manchester United fell 1.8 percent after the shock retirement of legendary team manager Alex Ferguson. Ferguson led the team for 26 years during which the team won several championships.

Video and computer game maker Electronic Arts surged 17.1 percent after forecasting 2014 profits at $1.20 a share, 10 cents higher than analysts expected.

J.C. Penney rose 7.4 percent despite warning ahead of earnings that it anticipates a 16.4 percent drop in revenues and a 16.6 percent drop in comparable store sales.

Whole Foods Market gained 10.1 percent on a 21 percent increase in net income and a 6.9 percent rise in comparable store sales. The company also announced a two-for-one stock split.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 1.76 percent from 1.78 percent late Tuesday, while the yield on the 30-year slipped to 2.98 percent from 3.00 percent. Bond prices move inversely to yields.

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