Nasdaq hits 14-year high

<p>US stocks are continuing to perform strongly.</p>

The strong performance of US stocks has continued and the Nasdaq hit a new 14-year record high during trading yesterday (August 18th).

It was also a good day for the Standard & Poor's 500 index, which was up by 0.9 per cent – a rise of 16.68 points – to end the session at 1971.74. The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 16,838.74 after it gained 175.83 points, an increase of more than one per cent in its value.

Dan Curtin, a global investment specialist for JPMorgan Private Bank, explained that US stocks are still an attractive option for investors despite the ongoing geopolitical tensions in Ukraine, Iraq and the Middle East. Tensions in Ukraine appear to have eased over the last few days, but there remains global concern over the conflict in Gaza.

"There are a lot of distractions out there, but the fundamental focus on equities is positive," Mr Curtin said.

Among the best performing US stocks over the course of the day was Dollar General, which saw its share price rise by 11.6 per cent on the back of its offer for Family Dollar.

US stocks performed well across the board following the release of the latest data from S&P Capital IQ, which showed corporate earnings remain strong and inflation is still low. For companies in the S&P 500, earnings growth was found to be around ten per cent in the second quarter, compared to 4.3 per cent in the same period in 2013.

This is an indication of the strength of the US economic recovery, which has picked up pace in the last few months and provided a boost to the president, Barack Obama, as well as the new head of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen.

The dropping price of oil had a positive impact on the share prices of airlines yesterday, with United Continental and American Airlines seeing the value of their stocks increase on the back of the lowered cost of the commodity.

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