Published November 07. 2013 4:00AM
New York - There wasn't any major economic news or blockbuster earnings. But that didn't stop investors from pushing the Dow Jones industrial average to another record on Wednesday.
Instead, investors focused on the big economic news this week that has yet to come, U.S. third-quarter economic growth on Thursday and the October jobs report Friday. Both reports could signal how much longer the Federal Reserve will keep up its $85 billion a month in bond purchases. That program has held down interest rates, kept bond yields low and made stocks attractive for investors.
The Dow reached its latest record of 15,746.88 with some help from Microsoft. The tech giant rose the most in more than two months after analysts at Nomura said investors should focus on how the company's fortunes could improve once it picks a replacement for CEO Steve Ballmer.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose, but not quite enough to set another record. The Nasdaq composite and the Russell 2000, an index of small-company stocks, edged lower. The patchy performance of the overall market suggests that investors may be getting wary of stocks after this year's strong gains, said Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ.
The Dow increased 128.66 points, or 0.8 percent. The S&P 500 index rose 7.52, or 0.4 percent, to 1,770.49, just one point below its all-time high set Oct. 29. It's up 24 percent so far this year.