Nasdaq at record as Wall St runs on strong data; Greece eyed

(Reuters) – The Nasdaq Composite yesterday erased its last standing milestone from the dot-com era as it set a record intraday high, with stocks on Wall Street in rally mode boosted by strong economic data.

A report in German newspaper Die Zeit about possible concessions made to Greece by its international creditors, which briefly extended the market’s rally, was later denied by EU diplomats.

The Nasdaq Composite hit a high of 5,143.316, topping the previous 5,132.52 record which stood since March 10, 2000. It also set a record closing high, as did the Russell 2000 , while the S&P 500 closed within 0.5 percent of its record.

U.S. consumer prices posted last month their largest increase in more than two years, jobless claims applications fell last week to a near 15-year low and factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region accelerated to a six-month high in June.

“Economic growth is beginning to make itself more evident,” said John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management in New York.

Manley said the perceived dovishness of the Federal Reserve’s statement and estimates after its meeting on Wednesday continued to support equities.

“The Fed is going to be very slow to raise interest rates,” he said.

Markets have closely watched for signals from the U.S. central bank as it prepares to raise rates for the first time in almost a decade.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 180.1 points, or 1 percent, to 18,115.84, the S&P 500 gained 20.8 points, or 0.99 percent, to 2,121.24 and the Nasdaq Composite

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