S&P 500 tops 2500, as dollar weakens

NY stock markets ended the week on an upbeat note, with new records for the Dow and S&P as investors brushed off weak United States economic data and another North Korea missile launch.

There was mixed news from the manufacturing sector, as total industrial activity plunged 0.9% percent in August, versus expectations of a 0.1% decline.

The semiconductor index surged 1.6 percent, boosted by Nvidia's near 6 percent jump to a record high after Evercore ISI raised its price target on the stock.

The report said industrial production slumped by 0.9 percent in August after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.4 percent in July.

Additionally, North Korea threatened to reduce the U.S.to "ashes and darkness" and sink Japan, leaving the Nikkei in the red.

Elsewhere, Centene rallied after the company said late on Tuesday that it has signed an agreement whereby Fidelis Care will become its health plan in the state of NY. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 64.86 points, or 0.3%, to 22,268.34.

The S&P 500 was up 1.44 points, or 0.06 percent, at 2,497.06.

Boeing rose $3.77, or 1.5 percent, to $249 as the aerospace company continued to set record highs. US retail sales unexpectedly fell in August (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-retail-sales-slump-near-end-of-summer-2017-09-15), dropping 0.2% in their second decline of the past three months.

The acceleration in inflation could keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates later this year. The biggest contributions to the gains were made by stocks in Boeing, 3M and Apple.

The Fed said Hurricane Harvey is estimated to have reduced the rate of change in total output by roughly three-quarters of a percentage point.

"Disappointing retail sales growth suggests 3Q consumer spending growth will slow markedly from 2Q's 3.3% rate; however, we still think other components can provide offsetting support within the GDP report", said James Knightley, the chief worldwide economist at ING.

Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.9 percent while the French CAC 40 rose 0.1 percent and Germany's DAX fell 0.2 percent. The benchmark 10-year yield started the week near 2.09%; it traded around 2.19% Friday.

The US$226mln-valued company'sstock rose 3.5% on the news.

The S&P 500 tech index has been the best performing sector this year, rising more than 25 percent, far outpacing the broader S&P 500's 11.5-percent growth.