NEW YORK, May 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks continued record run but gave up earlier gains Tuesday, with major stock indices setting all-time highs, as investor sentiment remained buoyant in general.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average touched an all-time high of 16, 735.51 points in intraday trading, before finishing at 16,715.44 points, a record close, up 19.97 points, or 0.12 percent. The blue- chip capped its first fifth-consecutive gain this year.
The S&P 500 also ended at an all-time high close of 1,897.45 points, up 0.80 point, or 0.04 percent, after hitting a record intraday high of 1,902.17 points earlier, above the round number of 1,900 points for the first time.
However, the tech-rich Nasdaq lost steam, down 13.69 points, or 0.33 percent, after outperforming the other two indices in the past couple of days thanks to a continued rebound in momentum stocks and small-cap shares. High-flying tech shares had undergone an obvious correction in the past two months amid tech bubble concerns.
The bullish market sentiment on Wall Street resumed recently, as investors felt comfortable with generally upbeat economic data and corporate earnings as well as the Federal Reserve's consistent pledge to keep interest rates in extremely low levels as long as needed. The positive sentiment had helped the U.S. stock market score a blockbuster year in 2013, with the benchmark S&P 500 climbing roughly 30 percent.
A recent bounce back in world stocks also provided a boost to the U.S. equity market.
An array of economic data came out goldilocks in the day, providing not many upward jolts to the market, which surrendered part of earlier gains in the Dow and the S&P 500 in the afternoon trading session.
U.S. small-business sentiment jumped to a six-and-a-half year high in April, with the Small Business Optimism Index rising 1.8 points to a post-recession high of 95.2, said the National Federation of Independent Business Tuesday.
However, U.S. retail sales rose 0.1 percent in April after an upwardly revised 1.5 percent jump in March, the Commerce Department reported. The reading missed market expectations.
In a separate report, the department revealed that U.S. manufacturers' and trade inventories added 0.4 percent in March from the prior month, also falling short of market estimates.
Moreover, U.S. import prices fell 0.4 percent in April following a 0.4-percent advance the previous month, mainly due to falling fuel prices, said the Labor Department. Meanwhile, export prices dropped 1.0 percent in April, after rising 1.0 percent in March.
The CBOE Volatility Index, a gauge of fear in the market, shed 0.82 percent to end at 12.13.
In other markets, oil prices continued rising as supply from Libya was still low and traders awaited U.S. crude inventories report scheduled for Wednesday. Light, sweet crude for June delivery rose 1.11 U.S. dollars to 101.70 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped as new data forced traders to focus on the long- term economic look of the United States, China and Europe, with the most active gold contract for June delivery dropping 0.08 percent to settle at 1,294.8 dollars per ounce.
The U.S. dollar strengthened against most major currencies and it advanced against the euro after data showed investor confidence in Germany fell sharply.
In late New York trading, the euro dropped to 1.3699 dollars from 1.3755 dollars of the previous session, and the British pound decreased to 1.6822 dollars from 1.6866 dollars.