The Dow industrials closed at a record high on Thursday, up 40.59 points, or 0.23 percent, to 17,652.79, driven by major gains in Wal-Mart, Cisco, Boeing, and Microsoft.
Wal-Mart closed up 4.7 percent at $82.94 after posting higher same-store sales.
Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York, told MoneyControl:
“Wal-Mart is showing strength, showing the natural relation it should have with (lower) energy prices,”
“But while we’re waiting for (other) consumer stocks to rise, lower energy prices continue to be a headwind,”
Other notable gains include Cisco, which closed up 2.27 percent at $25.68.
Boeing was up by 2.11 percent, closing at $128.53.
Microsoft gained 1.70 percent, closing at $49.61 – overtaking Exxon Mobil as America’s second-largest publicly traded company after Apple Inc.
The S&P 500 only went up by 0.05 percent, or 1.08 points, as energy sector stocks weighed on the index.
Energy shares took a nosedive as Brent crude dropped below $78 per barrel and US crude slipped by 3.6 percent to $74.39 per barrel – their lowest levels in four years.
The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.11 percent, 5 points, closing at 4,680.14.