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.

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

IE logo


The Business Hub

News and analysis on business, money and jobs from Munster and beyond by our expert team of business writers.

Sign up
Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up

Some of the best bits from direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up