S&P Nears a Milestone

The S&P 500 closed above 1500 for the first time since September 2000 on Thursday, ending the day a little more than 1% from its all-time closing high set in March 2000.

Strong productivity and services sector growth and restrained labor costs were behind the market’s latest milestone in its recovery from the 2000-2002 bear market, but traders will have April unemployment data to contend with Friday morning. Weak results from GM did little to slow buying enthusiasm.

Symantec gained 5% on better than expected results and guidance, but JDSU tumbled 14% on a warning.

Andrew , Concur , Genesis Micro , Hypercom , RealNetworks , Sirenza and Tekelc were other earnings gainers.

Axcelis , Open Text , ValueClick and Verisign traded lower on their quarterly results.

Verizon climbed on a legal victory over Vonage .

The Nasdaq gained 7 to 2565, the S&P 500 climbed 6 to 1502, and the Dow rose 29 to 13,241. Volume declined to 3 billion shares on the NYSE, and rose to 2.24 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancing issues led by an 18-13 margin on the NYSE, and 15-14 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 65% on the NYSE, and 64% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 254-14 on the NYSE, and 164-48 on the Nasdaq.

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