Dow Jones hits fresh record high

<p>The Dow Jones has hit a record high twice already this week.</p>

The Dow Jones hit a new record high during trading in the US yesterday (May 14th), the second time the index has reached new heights this week.

Although retail data released in the US failed to meet the expectations of analysts, investors were still in a confident mood and this translated to another good day of trading for the Dow Jones.

Over the course of the session, the Dow rose 0.1 per cent, ending the day higher at 16,715 points. Meanwhile, over on the S&P 500, there was also a small gain, while the Nasdaq experienced a 0.3 per cent drop for the day.

Bucky Hellwig, senior vice-president of BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama, explained some investors are still wary as they are not sure the economic recovery in the US is on steady ground yet.

Speaking to Reuters, he said: "We've eked out a gain in the broad averages but continue to see weakness in the Nasdaq and small caps so that divergence has got some investors concerned. What you see is a smaller group of stocks participating in the rally."

Sales figures

Retail sales released in the US yesterday were shown to be 0.1 per cent up in April, which was a distance below the optimistic expectations of analysts who released their predictions ahead of the official data being sent out.

The success of the Dow Jones since the turn of the year is in sharp contrast to the fortunes of the Nikkei, which has struggled to keep up the gains it racked up over the course of 2013. Last year saw the Nikkei outperform the Dow – as well as the FTSE 100 and the S&P 500 – but the index has lost a lot of ground in the last few months.

However, there are signs the Nikkei could be putting those problems behind it, as the index rose by almost two per cent yesterday to close the session above its 25-day moving average for the first time in six weeks.

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