US stocks rally to their highest level since August

US stocks advanced to their highest levels in five weeks yesterday, taking the S&P 500 index near the top of its summer range on upbeat Chinese factory data and new global banking rules.

The rally sent the S&P 500 above its 200-day moving average for the first time since early August, which was seen as a bullish sign.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 81.36 points, or 0.78 per cent, to 10,544.13. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 12.35 points, or 1.11 per cent, to 1,121.90. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 43.23 points, or 1.93 per cent, to 2,285.71.

Investors are now looking to the 1,130 level, which has not been pierced since May, but if surpassed, could signal more gains on the horizon. Banks were among the top performers on Wall Street. JPMorgan rose 3.5 per cent to $41.15 (£26.7) as one of the top boosts to the Dow. The KBW Bank index gained 3.1 per cent.

Another acquisition in the technology sector added to the optimism.

Hewlett-Packard will buy cybersecurity company ArcSight for $1.5bn.