Nasdaq hits record high for second day

NYSE trader Image copyright Getty Images

(Close): Trading on Wall Street stayed within a narrow range for most of Wednesday, although, the Nasdaq hit a record high for the second day running.

The tech-heavy index rose 0.15% to to 5,682.45, helped by Facebook and Apple.

But the Dow Jones finished 36 points, or 0.18%, lower at 20,054 and the S&P 500 was flat, edging up just 0.07% to 2,294.67.

On the oil markets the benchmark Brent crude is up by 0.2% to $55.18 a barrel.

West Texas Intermediate is up 0.5% to $52.41.

On Tuesday oil prices fell amid reports of higher than expected stockpiles of crude oil in the US, but on Wednesday the markets were cheered.

"The crude oil inventory build was really terrible for the market but the market does not seem to care because the products inventories were better than expected and are dragging crude oil prices up with it," said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates.

On the Nasdaq Gilead Sciences closed down 8.61% after the biotechnology company said sales of its hepatitis C drugs may be less than expected. The stock sank $6.95 to $66.18.

However, Facebook ended up 1.79% and Apple was up 0.39%.

Shares in Walt Disney pared earlier gains to end the day unchanged.

Earlier the media conglomerate had been the top performer on the Dow after its latest quarterly earnings beat Wall Street's estimates chief executive Bob Iger said he was open to extending his term.

On the S&P 500 US clothing retailer Nordstrom finished more than 4% higher despite criticism from President Trump over its decision to stop selling his daughter Ivanka's fashion label.