Dow Flirts With Record

The Dow Jones Industrial Average came within two points of its all-time closing high Wednesday before pulling back.

The Dow spent much of the day flirting with its January 14, 2000 close of 11,722.98 before pulling back late in the day to close with modest gains.

That stocks were up at all Wednesday was something of a miracle, as an unexpected drop in durable orders weighed on the market at the start of trading, the latest evidence of an economy that might be slowing more than expected. Rising oil prices also weighed on stocks.

Red Hat plunged 23% on disappointing billings and guidance.

Intel closed back above $20 on a favorable ruling in its antitrust battle with AMD .

Jabil gained 4% after the company beat estimates and raised guidance.

Verizon lost 3% on aggressive spending plans.

Comverse investors received word that fugitive former CEO Kobi Alexander was arrested in Namibia in connection with the company’s stock option backdating scandal.

ADC and Foundry gained on upgrades, and Overstock fell on a downgrade.

The Nasdaq rose 2 to 2263, the S&P 500 added a fraction to 1336, and the Dow tacked on 20 to 11,689. Volume declined to 2.68 billion shares on the NYSE, but rose to 2.1 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 20-12 on the NYSE, and 16-13 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 56% on the NYSE, and 44% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 211-28 on the NYSE, and 130-56 on the Nasdaq.

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