New York Report: S&P reaches a record high

US STOCKS rose yesterday as the S&P 500 scored a second straight record close, buoyed by the latest round of merger activity and as expectations for rate cuts by the European Central Bank (ECB) stoked investors’ appetite for equities.

ECB chief Mario Draghi said on Monday the bank must be “particularly watchful” for any negative price spiral in the Eurozone.

His comments increased bets that the bank was ready to cut rates next week to counter low inflation and weak lending in the euro area, keeping asset purchases as an option.

US markets, which were closed Monday for Memorial Day, had to digest the ECB news.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 69.23 points or 0.42 per cent, to end at 16,675.50. The S&P 500 advanced 11.38 points or 0.60 per cent, to 1,911.91, a record. The Nasdaq Composite added 51.26 points or 1.22 per cent, to 4,237.07.