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Around the World's Markets: New York

ALL THREE major US stock market indices flew to record highs by midday as computer hardware and software companies led a technology-driven "Santa Rally" on the last trading day ahead of the Christmas holiday.

The Nasdaq composite index climbed 64 points, or 1.60 per cent, to 4,001, jumping past the 4,000 mark for the first time, while the blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average surged 200 points, or 1.79 per cent, to 11,403.