New York (AFP) - US stocks Friday finished mostly higher with the S&P 500 hitting a new record peak, even as the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined on profit taking.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 49.06 points (0.30 percent) to 16,321.71, while the S&P 500 tacked on 5.16 (0.28 percent) at 1,859.45, setting a new closing record.
But the Nasdaq shed 10.81 (0.25 percent) at 4,308.12, stepping back after striking a 14-year high Thursday.
For the entire month of February, the Dow rose 622.86, or 3.97 percent, its biggest monthly gain since January 2013.
The S&P 500 jumped 76.86 (4.31 percent) in February, while the Nasdaq powered up 204.24 (4.98 percent).
"The Nasdaq has been a clear outperformer and you're seeing a number of companies taking it on the chin," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities.
"They've had a pretty good run," James said. "It's time to take some profits."
Analysts said investors were generally optimistic about growth in the US economy, dismissing recent weak economic data as largely the result of unusually cold winter weather that has depressed economic activity.
Among the Nasdaq companies to see declines were software maker Splunk, which finished 2.9 percent lower after surging early in the day, and cloud-computing company Salesforce.com, which dropped 5.8 percent after a big rise on Thursday.
Other prominent Nasdaq members also fell, including Facebook (-0.7 percent), Netflix (-1.5 percent) and Tesla Motors (-3.1 percent).
Men's retailer Jos. A Bank Clothiers rejected a $63.50 per-share takeover offer from rival Men's Wearhouse, but agreed to meet to discuss a potential deal. Jos. A Bank rose 3.0 percent to $62.08, while Men's Wearhouse jumped 6.7 percent.
Banking giant Citigroup slipped 0.1 percent after disclosing that it would trim its 2013 earnings by $235 million due to fraud uncovered at its Banamex subsidiary in Mexico.
Retailer Gap Inc. edged 0.2 percent higher as it boosted its divided by 10 percent to 88 cents per share in fiscal year 2014.
Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.66 percent from 2.64 percent, while the 30-year slipped to 3.59 percent from 3.60 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.