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IBM, tech stocks lead S&P to new record high

Trader John Doyle, left, works on the floor

Trader John Doyle, left, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Monday. A pair of encouraging economic reports helped propel the stock market up in early trading on Monday. (April 29, 2013) Credit: AP

News that IBM will buy back more stock and raise its dividend helped pull major stock indexes out of a morning slump Tuesday.

IBM and other tech stocks led the Standard & Poor's 500 index up. The broad-market measure ended April with a 1.8 percent gain, the sixth month in a row the index has climbed higher.

Worries about slower economic growth have rattled the stock market this month, but it has consistently bounced back. Brad Sorensen, director of market research at the Charles Schwab brokerage, said that's a result of investors having few alternatives.

"Right now it seems like every pullback in the market is seen as a buying opportunity," Sorensen said. "People may say they're getting nervous, but where else are you going to put money at this point? Into Europe with their political issues? Into Treasurys paying less than 1.7 percent?"

The S&P 500 edged up 3.96 points to close at 1,597.57. The slight gain of 0.25 percent pushed the index to an all-time high for the second day straight. The Dow Jones industrial average fell as much as 84 points in morning trading but ended with a gain of 21.05 points at 14,839.80. In other trading, the Nasdaq composite index rose 0.66 percent to 3,328.79. -- AP

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