Nasdaq tops 3,000 in intraday trading, but stocks end down

The Nasdaq Composite index briefly exceeded 3,000 for the first time in more than 11 years today, but the three major stock indices closed down, Reuters reported.

A continued rally of Apple shares, which account for more than a tenth of the Nasdaq Composite, drove the index to top 3K, the Financial Times reported.

“Even though Apple’s weighting in the Nasdaq was cut last year, it remains the stock driving the index and, as it rockets ahead, so the Nasdaq is over-performing,” Clem Chambers at, told the Financial Times.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 53.05 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 12,952.07, the Wall Street Journal reported. Yesterday, the Dow ended the day above 13,000 for the first time in nearly four years.

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The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index lost 6.50 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 1,365.68. And the Nasdaq Composite dropped 19.87 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,966.89.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke didn’t tell some investors what they wanted to hear in an appearance on Capitol Hill today, Reuters reported. Speaking before the US House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, he said the rebound of the US economy remained "uneven and modest." He also gave no indications that more monetary stimulus is on the horizon.

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"It felt as if there's been improvement … (but) it certainly didn't sound like they were getting ready to tighten," Eric Kuby, chief investment officer of North Star Investment Management Corp. in Chicago, told Reuters.

Nevertheless, the major indexes enjoyed their strongest February in years, the Wall Street Journal reported. Adding 2.5 percent in February, the Dow is now just 8.6 percent off its all-time high.

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