Dow nears 29,000 for first time, S&P 500, Nasdaq hit records as Iran tensions ease

All three of the major averages were trading in record territory

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite hit fresh records on Thursday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average, also at a record, neared the key psychological 29,000 level as investors moved past the recent escalation of tensions in the Middle East.

Continue Reading Below

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
SP500S&P 5003465.39+11.90+0.34%
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES28335.57-28.09-0.10%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX11548.281629+42.28+0.37%

President Trump celebrated the stock market's strength in a tweet.

Trump de-escalated tensions with a White House speech late Wednesday morning and on Thursday U.S. officials said they believe Iran accidentally shot down a Ukraine International Airlines flight, a Boeing 737 jet. Initially, reports indicated the aircraft may have suffered a fatal mechanical error.

Boeing shares jumped on the news, the stock along with Apple and Goldman Sachs contributed to about half of the Dow's 211+ point gain.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
BABOEING COMPANY167.36-1.71-1.01%
AAPLAPPLE INC.115.04-0.71-0.61%
GSGOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC.205.04-0.36-0.18%

Defense stocks, which have had a hot start to the year amid the escalating tensions with Iran, gained further ground.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
LMTLOCKHEED MARTIN CORPORATION374.33+5.37+1.46%
NOCNORTHROP GRUMMAN CORPORATION308.43+5.44+1.80%
GDGENERAL DYNAMICS CORPORATION140.70+1.28+0.92%
RTNn.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.

Meanwhile, commodities attempted to find their footing after seeing sharp reversals following Trump's speech.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, hovered at the $59 a barrel level after plunging nearly 5 percent the previous day. Meanwhile, Brent crude oil, the international benchmark was little changed at the $65 a barrel level after Wednesday's steep slide.

Energy giants ExxonMobil and Chevron were mixed after suffering losses on Wednesday.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
XOMEXXON MOBIL CORPORATION34.16-0.70-2.01%
CVXCHEVRON CORP.72.57-0.83-1.13%

Gold continued to slide, trading near $1,5450 an ounce. The precious metal hit an almost seven-year high of $1,613.30 on Tuesday evening.

Miners Barrick Gold and Newmont Goldcorp were lower.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
GOLDBARRICK GOLD CORP.26.81-0.08-0.30%
NEMNEWMONT GOLDCORP CORPORATION60.47-0.07-0.12%

Elsewhere, Bed Bath & Beyond plunged after reporting a $38.6 million loss in its third-quarter and warning its sales and profitability will be under pressure for the rest of the fiscal year.

Costco was higher after its December sales spiked 10.5 percent year over year to $15.42 billion. J.C. Penney and Kohl's were lower after reporting their holiday sales slumped.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
BBBYBED BATH & BEYOND INC.25.36+0.19+0.75%
COSTCOSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION374.60-1.15-0.31%
JCPn.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.
KSSKOHL'S CORP.23.97+0.87+3.77%

HP climbed after rejecting a $33 billion takeover offer from Xerox, saying it undervalued the company.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
HPQHP INC.19.12-0.23-1.19%
XRXXEROX HOLDINGS19.73-0.16-0.80%

Tesla shares fell after Wednesday’s surge gave it a bigger market capitalization than Ford and General Motors combined. Shares of the electric-vehicle maker have surged 17.6 percent this year, saddling short-sellers with more than $2 billion of losses.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
TSLATESLA INC.420.63-5.16-1.21%

U.S. Treasurys were lower after the Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell to 214,000 last week, better-than-expected. The note on the 10-year yield was up 1.4 basis points at 1.888 percent.

All of the major European averages rallied with Germany’s DAX up 1.4 percent, France's CAC higher by 0.3 percent and Britain’s FTSE gaining 0.5 percent.

Markets closed higher across Asia. Japan's Nikkei led the way higher, closing up 2.3 percent while China's Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.9 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.