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S&P 500 climbs to new record high

New York Stock Exchange
The facade of the New York Stock Exchange.
(Richard Drew / Associated Press)

Stocks on Wall Street marched higher Monday, pushing the Standard & Poor’s 500 index to a new all-time high and extending its gains into a fourth week.

The S&P 500 rose about 0.6% to 3,039.42 points — beating the record set July 26.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose about 132.66 points, or 0.5%, to 27,090. It’s still about 1% below its record high, set July 15. The Nasdaq climbed 1% to 8,325.99. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose about 0.9% to 1,571.93.

The rally comes at the beginning of a busy week of corporate earnings, new economic data and expectations of another interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

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Technology, healthcare and communication services stocks powered the market’s latest gains, outweighing losses in real estate, utilities and household goods makers. Energy stocks also fell as crude oil prices headed lower. Banks rose along with bond yields, which help set interest rates for mortgages and other loans.

Investors continued to pore over company earnings reports Monday. Some 156 companies in the S&P 500 are scheduled to issue their quarterly results this week. Google parent Alphabet is due to issue its results later Monday.

The company news, in addition to new economic data on housing, consumer confidence and hiring, will give investors a clearer diagnosis of the economy’s health. Traders will also closely watch the Fed’s latest decision on interest rates Wednesday.

Microsoft rose after winning a Pentagon contract. Other technology companies also climbed. AT&T led broad gains for communications companies.

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The market could also have history on its side today, according to Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist for LPL Financial.

“October 28 is historically the best day of the year for stocks,” he said in a note to investors.

The market could be in for a more volatile ride this week. General Motors and drugmakers Merck and Pfizer release results on Tuesday. Apple and Facebook report Wednesday.

Several important economic reports will be issued this week. The government will release its closely watched monthly employment report on Friday. Economists expect a slight increase in the unemployment rate to 3.6% in October from 3.5% in September.

Meanwhile, Wall Street widely expects the Fed to cut its benchmark short-term rate to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%. It would be the central bank’s third interest rate cut this year.


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