S&P soars past 1,700 on stellar day for US bulls

Julian Harris
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PROMISING economic numbers and reassurances of more stimulus to come from leading central bankers drove the S&P 500 index of shares to a record close last night.

The Wall Street index smashed through the 1,700 mark upon opening yesterday, finally ending up 1.25 per cent at 1,706.87.

The Dow Jones also reached a new peak, while the Nasdaq struck a 13-year high.

A closely watched survey of US manufacturing, published by the Institute for Supply Management, shot up to a two-year high in July – boosting investor morale yesterday.

And a separate index from data firm Markit rose to 53.7, a four-month high, from 51.9 in June.

Meanwhile, new claims for unemployment benefit in the US fell to a near five and a half year low in the week ending 27 July.

Wednesday’s policy statement from the Federal Reserve indicated no plan to begin tapering its rate of quantitative easing, while Europe’s central banks also remain dovish.