Dow and S&P 500 close at record highs as US economy outweighs slump in global growth

Stocks edged higher on Thursday, with the Dow and S&P 500 closing at new records. The increase was fueled by optimism that the U.S. economy will be able to ride the slump in global growth.

Global markets were affected by lackluster European and Chinese economic data. However, in the US investors are pleased with positive reports on domestic inflation, increased homebuilder confidence, higher home sales, and a drop in the number of unemployment benefit claims.

The Dow industrial average and S&P 500 each rose by 0.2%, ahead of the previous record set on Tuesday. The Dow gained 33 points, closing at 17,719, while the S&P 500 gained 4 points closing at 2052.75.

The Nasdaq composite index also performed well, gaining 0.6%.

The markets were in the red for a while when markets opened before rebounding back and surging around mid-morning.

In Europe, the Britain’s FTSE index dropped by 0.3%, Germany’s DAX index gained 0.1% and the French CAC 40 index was down 0.8%.

A recent survey from the financial information company Markit, revealed that its purchasing managers’ index for the eurozone, a gauge of business activity, dropped to a 16-month low in November down to 51.4 points from 52.1 the previous month.

In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index increased by 0.1% to closing at 17,300.86, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped by 0.1%, closing at 23,349.64.