US STOCKS ended sharply stronger yesterday and the S&P 500 closed at a record high as investors worried less about interest rates and a weaker dollar offered the possibility of stronger sales for US multinationals.
The S&P 500 gained 22.62 points, or 1.08 per cent, to end at 2,121.1, exceeding its previous all-time high close of 2,117.69 on 24 April. The Nasdaq Composite had its strongest day since January.
After oscillating in what many investors view as a range for much of the past three months, the S&P’s gain in 2015 now stands at 3 per cent.
The dollar moved to its lowest since January against a basket of currencies of major US trading partners – good news for companies with large foreign sales.
A report showing a dip in initial claims for state unemployment benefits last week did little to change broad expectations that the US Federal Reserve would not increase interest rates before the second half of 2015 at the earliest.
Wall Street’s top banks expect the Federal Reserve to begin raising interest rates in September, according to a Reuters poll.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 191.75 points, or 1.06 per cent, to end at 18,252.24. The Nasdaq Composite added 69.10 points, or 1.39 per cent, to 5,050.80.
All of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with the index’s 1.73 per cent rise leading the way. Apple shares rose 2.33 per cent, making the stock the biggest driver on both the Nasdaq and S&P 500.