Dow closes above 6,600 for first time


THE Dow Jones industrial average closed above 6,600 for the first time as stocks rallied after steep losses sparked by a worsening interest rate backdrop in the bond market.

The Dow erased a 55-point slide to finish with a gain of 33.48 points and closed at 6,600.66.

Broader measures also turned positive as bonds cut the session's losses, with the Nasdaq market closing at a record high for the second straight day.

Bonds started the day higher, but pulled lower by the time stock trading began, sending the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond a key determinant of corporate and consumer borrowing costs as high as 6.81 per cent. By late afternoon the yield had eased to 6.79 per cent, but that was still the highest level since late October.

Advances outnumbered declines by nearly a 3-to-2 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,505 up, 1,041 down and 789 unchanged. NYSE volume totalled 538.21 million shares, against 527.11 million in the previous session.