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Wall St jumps as banks lead S&P 500 to new high


A trader on the floor in London Photo: Reuters

A trader on the floor in London Photo: Reuters


A trader on the floor in London Photo: Reuters

US stocks rose and extended a recent rally on Tuesday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 hitting new intraday highs as investors bet that the market's upward momentum would keep going.

Gains were broad, with more than two-thirds of New York Stock Exchange-listed companies' shares rising and almost 640 securities hitting 52-week highs, including Chevron Corp and Visa Inc.

Growth-orientated stocks were among the day's biggest advancers, with large-cap bank stocks leading the way. Bank of America, up 2.6pc at $13.32, was the Dow's biggest gainer. Citigroup Inc rose 2.2pc to $49.98. Goldman Sachs advanced 3.4pc to $154.67 while Wells Fargo & Co added 1.1pc to $38.63.

Wall Street has climbed for the past three weeks. The S&P 500 is up almost 16pc so far this year, propelled in large part by the Federal Reserve's easy monetary policy, designed to stimulate the economy.

"We're riding a self-fulfilling prophecy of momentum. There's no fundamental reason for today's move, other than the continued easing by the Fed and momentum," said Paul Radeke, vice president at Minneapolis-based KDV Wealth Management.

While some analysts expect the momentum to wane in the near term, as equities haven't undergone a significant pullback this year, many say that the long-term trend remains positive as investors keep using any market decline as a buying opportunity.

"The sheer volume of cash coming in from the sidelines is preventing any kind of correction, even though fundamentally we seem to be getting overbought," said Radeke, who helps oversee $400 million in assets.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 95.73 points, or 0.63pc, to 15,187.41. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 15.65 points, or 0.96 percent, to 1,649.42. The Nasdaq Composite Index advancedp 29.39 points, or 0.85pc, to 3,468.18.

Earlier in the session, the Dow hit an all-time intraday high at 15,191.60, while the S&P 500 reached an all-time intraday high at 1,649.71.

The Dow's gains were limited by weakness in Caterpillar Inc , down 0.8pc at $87.56, and UnitedHealth Group , off 0.8pc at $61.90.

The market had been trading sideways for three sessions, showing a gain of 0.07 percent as the winding down of the quarterly earnings season and a light economic calendar have left investors without a strong catalyst for further gains.