S&P 500 hits record high as concern over European debts eases
THE Standard & Poor's 500 US share index hit a record high yesterday, wiping out losses from the financial crisis as economic growth slowed less than estimated and concern about Europe's debt crisis eased.
McDonald's and IBM jumped at least 0.6pc to pace advances among the biggest companies. GameStop rallied 4.9pc after quarterly profit topped estimates.
BlackBerry climbed 2.2pc after reporting fourth-quarter results. Banks retreated, as Bank of America and Morgan Stanley lost at least 0.7pc.
The S&P 500 increased 0.3pc to 1,567.23 in New York, above its all-time closing high of 1,565.15 from October 2007.
"It's about time," said Robert Lutts, the president and chief investment officer at Cabot Money Management in Salem, Massachusetts.
"We've gone through two bear markets in the last decade and equity investors have been really challenged in their conviction to hold through that period of time, but I think we're at the beginning of a very strong phase for equities, not at the end."
The S&P 500's advance above its record close marks a recovery from a bear market that wiped out more than $10trn (€7.5trn) of value from the world's biggest stock market.
The gauge is up 9.9pc for the quarter, its best performance in a year. It remains below an all-time intra-day high of 1,576.09. The Dow first surpassed its 2007 high on March 5.
Shares of American companies are rallying as their profits expand for a third straight year and the Federal Reserve commits to continuing its unprecedented monetary stimulus.
The four-year bull market has sent the S&P 500 up more than 131pc since it reached a 12-year low of 676.53. The rally is extending beyond the average length of bull markets. (Bloomberg)