NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Santa Claus rally continued for its fifth straight session on Tuesday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke through 18,000 and the S&P 500 notched a new record close after third-quarter GDP showed signs of better-than-expected economic health.
The S&P 500 added 0.18% on Tuesday and the Dow climbed 0.38% to 18,027.
"18,000 is just kind of a nice, round number but realistically it doesn't really mean a whole lot," said Hennessy Funds' Brian Peery of the Dow's new high. "We certainly think over the long haul that the market is heading higher."
A new estimate of third-quarter GDP came in at 5%, its highest in 11 years. The previous estimate had put GDP at 3.9% and economists had expected an upward revision to 4.3%.
"It is indeed great news that the economy put in such solid, robust growth in the third quarter," said Andrew Wilkinson, chief market analyst at Interactive Brokers, in a report. "It is in keeping with the picture the [Federal Reserve] has been trying to paint, which leaves them wanting to move out of the basement in terms of a near-zero interest rate setting."
Consumer sentiment surged to 93.8 in the first two weeks of December, according to the Reuters/University of Michigan Sentiment Index. Cheaper gasoline prices have helped to fuel discretionary spending in other parts of the consumer economy. Economists had expected a reading of 93.