US shares hit new record highs as bulls charge on

Tim Wallace
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BULLISH investors drove US stock markets to record highs last night, as a potent combination of economic confidence and relative political stability pushed prices upward.

American shareholders were inspired by strong performances across European stock markets earlier in the day, where shares rose despite the referendum in eastern Ukraine.

The S&P 500 index hit its highest level ever, rising steadily through the day to end at 1,896.65, up 0.97 per cent over the session.

And the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day up 0.68 per cent, also at a record high of 16,695.47.

Tech stocks were one driving force behind the rally, with Facebook up 3.93 per cent, Netflix rising 4.14 per cent and TripAdvisor leading the S&P with a rapid 6.62 per cent surge.

Financial services shares were also big risers over the day.

Goldman Sachs was among the biggest gainers for the Dow Jones, up 1.49 per cent, while JP Morgan’s shares rose 1.18 per cent.

The leader on the Dow was General Electric, rising 1.63 per cent, with Nike in second place, rising 1.61 per cent.

Sustained easy money in the US is one factor pushing up the price of assets like stocks.

Even though the Federal Reserve has started to taper its asset purchase programme, it is still printing $45bn this month to pump into financial markets.

And a healthy earnings season for US businesses has given investors increased confidence that the recovery is here to stay and that its benefits will be passed on to them.

Strong trading across the rest of the world also helped boost traders’ sentiment in the US.

Shares in Hong Kong rose 1.82 per cent, while the Shanghai Shenzhen index jumped 2.16 per cent.

They were followed by the German DAX which rose 1.26 per cent and the FTSE 100 which increased 0.55 per cent.


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