US stocks post another record high

US stocks post another record high

US stock indexes edged further into record territory today following more signs that the economy is growing in the way that investors love.

The S&P 500 index ticked up by 3.15 points, or 0.1%, to 2,943.03.

Big gains for banks led the way on hopes for bigger profits from making loans, but losses for high dividend stocks held indexes in check.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 11.06, or less than 0.1%, to 26,554.39, and the Nasdaq composite gained 15.46, or 0.2%, to 8,161.85.

Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at record highs.

After rocketing higher in the first few months of the year, momentum has moderated for the S&P 500 index in recent weeks.

Trading has remained relatively quiet, as reports on the economy and corporate profits come in better than analysts expected and give investors further confidence that the economy can avoid a recession.

The S&P 500 is up 17.4% so far in 2019, and it has more than erased its nearly 20% drop from late last year when worries were high than an overly aggressive Federal Reserve could cause a recession by raising interest rates too quickly.

Helping to spur Monday's gains was a report from the Commerce Department that showed an economy that is growing, but not at too hot a pace.

Consumer spending jumped 0.9% in March, the biggest gain in nearly a decade. But the same report also showed that the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of price changes remains well below its target.

Low inflation gives the central bank more leeway to hold off on raising interest rates, and it was the Fed's pledge earlier this year to be patient on rates that sent stocks surging.

The Federal Reserve will meet again on interest rates this week, and most investors expect it to make no changes.

More relief is also coming from ongoing negotiations between the US and China as they try to end a costly trade war. Both sides have said they are making progress and are continuing talks this week.

Big US companies also continue to turn in stronger earnings for the first three months of the year than analysts expected.

Google's parent company, Alphabet, joined the lengthening list when it reported its results after trading ended on Monday.

Analysts say companies across the S&P 500 index may end up reporting slightly higher profits for the first quarter than a year ago.

Just a few weeks ago, Wall Street was predicting the first drop in earnings in nearly three years.

Treasury yields rose with the encouraging data on consumer spending, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury climbed to 2.52% from 2.50% late on Friday.

Benchmark US crude rose 20 cents to settle at 63.50 Us dollars per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 11 cents to 72.04 US dollars a barrel.

More in this Section

Dublin Port project raises concernsDublin Port project raises concerns

Unions call for pay-gap disclosuresUnions call for pay-gap disclosures

Brexit still means Brexit for this islandBrexit still means Brexit for this island

Irish companies to win as UK trade spat thawsIrish companies to win as UK trade spat thaws


Last week, en route to La Gomera in the Canary Islands, I decide to stop off in Tenerife and take the 1.2km cable car ride to the top of Mount Teide, 3,660m above sea level. Cable cars are invariably an exciting way to travel.Dursey Island is a special place because of its remoteness

It can be considered offensive by some but generally the word ‘tinker’ is not considered rude says the Traveller’s advocacy group Pavee Point. Over time the term became synonymous with ‘Traveller’ and it is this which is current today.The Islands of Ireland: Tinkering with the past on Tinker’s Island in West Cork

Dr Naomi Lavelle explores some questions about walking upside-downAppliance of Science: Could humans copy insects' ability to walk upside-down?

Emer Corridan is the general manager at the award-winning four-star, Cahernane House Hotel in Killarney, Co. Kerry.You've Been Served: Emer Corridan, general manager at Cahernane House, Killarney

More From The Irish Examiner