Dow Bests Old High

The index ticks up for a new record, while Apple juices tech.
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Updated from 4:09 p.m. EDT

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

didn't move much Thursday, but the mere fact that it rose at all gave it a second consecutive record close above 13,000.

When trading had ended, the Dow stood at 13,105.50, up 15.61 points, or 0.12%, on the day. Earlier in the session, it hit an intraday best-ever level of 13,132.80. Thirteen of the Dow's 30 components ended the day in positive territory.

The

Nasdaq

also advanced, picking up 6.57 points, or 0.26%, to 2554.46, but the

S&P 500

slipped 1.17 points, or 0.08%, to 1494.25.

About 3.24 billion shares changed hands on the

New York Stock Exchange

, with decliners matching advancers. Volume on the Nasdaq reached 2.47 billion shares, and losers outpaced winners 8 to 7.

"The markets put in a mixed performance as investors digested more favorable earnings reports," said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist with Spencer Clarke LLC. "A few disappointing earnings reports, along with some profit-taking and some hesitation in front of tomorrow's economic reports, kept a lid on the markets.

"However, there's a lot of momentum still to the upside, as investors don't want to miss out," he added. "Equities still may be headed somewhat higher as we end the month of April."

Boosting the tech space was a quarter from

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

, posted after the previous close, that was much stronger than Wall Street had expected. Shares of the computer and iPod maker surged 8% and topped $102 -- the first time the stock has passed the century mark -- in the wake of the numbers.

Apple pared its gains but still finished with a gain of 3.7% at $98.84.

Other earnings continued to roll in, and, as has been the case most days, many of the reports were better than anticipated.

Two Dow members reported stronger-than-expected quarterly results.

3M's

(MMM) - Get Report

first-quarter profit jumped about 50% from the year-ago quarter and topped forecasts.

Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Report

said first-quarter earnings rose 10% from a year earlier and also beat estimates.

Shares of 3M jumped $3.48, or 4.5%, to $80.45. Exxon Mobil ended higher by 63 cents, or 0.8%, to $80.55.

Following the closing bell, fellow component

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

topped analysts' views.

Among the day's other reports,

Ford's

(F) - Get Report

revenue and quarterly loss were better than targets, while

Newell Rubbermaid

(NWL) - Get Report

,

Clear Channel

(CCU) - Get Report

and

Travelers

(TRV) - Get Report

also got past forecasts.

Starwood Hotels

(HOT)

and

Aetna

(AET)

also beat.

Dow Chemical

(DOW) - Get Report

,

Halliburton

(HAL) - Get Report

and

Taiwan Semiconductor

(TSM) - Get Report

were in line with estimates.

Wendy's

(WEN) - Get Report

soared 16.3% after the company said it would consider a possible sale or merger.

Beazer Homes

(BZH) - Get Report

stayed with the recent tendency of homebuilders to have disappointing news, saying the market in which it operates has become uncertain enough that it will have to pull its full-year guidance. Still, Beazer rose $1.69, or 5%, to $35.20.

The Philadelphia Housing Sector Index benefited from Beazer's gain, finishing up 3%.

Among the market's other subindices, the Philadelphia Oil Service Sector Index was up 0.8%, and the Philadelphia Semiconductor Sector Index gained 0.7%. Losers included the S&P Retail Index, which shed 0.1%, and the Philadelphia Gold and Silver Sector Index, which slid 2.4%.

Elsewhere, commodities ended with losses following a volatile session. Crude oil retraced earlier gains and declined 78 cents to $65.06 a barrel. Among precious metals, gold lost $9.40 to $678 an ounce.

On the economic docket, the Labor Department said that initial jobless claims fell by a greater-than-expected 20,000 to 321,000 last week. The less-volatile four-week moving average of claims rose by 2,750 to 332,000.

Treasuries were lower. The 10-year note lost 8/32 in price to yield 4.68%, and the 30-year bond was off 16/32 to yield 4.87%.

Overseas, markets were stronger in Asia, where Tokyo's Nikkei rose 1.1% to 17,429 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.6% to 20,667. Europe was gained ground, with London's FTSE adding 0.1% to 6469 and Frankfurt's Xetra DAX higher by 0.6% at 7387.

On Friday, the earnings parade will continue with reports due from

Chevron

(CVX) - Get Report

,

Alltel

(AT) - Get Report

and

Coventry Health

(CVH)

, among others.