12/23/2014 09:41 EST | Updated 02/22/2015 05:59 EST

Dow tops 18,000 as stock market extends record highs; Strong US economic growth

More encouraging news on the U.S. economy helped send the Dow Jones industrial average above 18,000 for the first time.

The government reported early Tuesday that the economy grew at a rapid annual rate of 5 per cent in the third quarter of the year, the fastest pace in more than a decade.

Indexes are at record highs and the market is on track for its fifth gain in a row. Indications that the Federal Reserve isn't planning interest rate hikes soon have reassured investors.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 82 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 18,043 as of 11:45 a.m. Eastern time.

The Standard & Poor's 500 rose five points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,083.

The Nasdaq composite fell four points, or 0.1 per cent, to 4,777.