New York Report: S&P closes in on landmark 2,000 points

US STOCKS have been on a roll of late, with the S&P 500 hitting the latest in a series of records on Thursday, and investors expect the index’s momentum to soon carry it to – if not past – the 2,000 milestone.

The S&P is about 10 points, or 0.4 per cent, from that landmark, which analysts expected would be reached towards the end of the year.

Reaching it ahead of schedule is the latest affirmation that stocks are widely preferred to bonds, even with further upside seen as limited as the Federal Reserve remains on track to end its bond-buying stimulus programme in October.

Optimism about near-term market direction hit a nine-month high in the latest AAII Sentiment Survey, with 46.1 per cent of respondents expecting gains over the next six month.

Today, the US sees the release of Existing Home Sales, which will be followed by the New Home Sales on Wednesday. Also on Monday we get the Chicago Fed National Activity Index.

Manufacturing takes centre stage tomorrow with the PMI Manufacturing Index Flash and the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index. Then on Thursday, the Durable Goods report is followed by the final reading on second- quarter GDP and Consumer Sentiment on Friday.

BlackBerry’s newest smart­phone, The Passport, will be launched on Wednesday, and it will have a keyboard, large screen and a reported 15-hour battery life.