U.S. stocks rose early today, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to an all-time high, as data boosted optimism in the economy amid speculation the Federal Reserve will continue to support the recovery.
The S&P 500 jumped 0.3 percent to a record 1,991.72 at 10:28 a.m. in New York. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 73.91 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,053.04, climbing above 17,000 for the first time since July 29. The Russell 2000 Index slid 0.4 percent for a second day of losses. Trading in S&P 500 companies was 17 percent below the 30-day average for this time of the day.
“After five years of dovishness I guess people are conditioned to not take the Fed that seriously as a hawk right now,” Eric Cinnamond, manager of the $724 million Aston/ River Road Independent Value Fund, said in a phone interview.
The S&P 500 has rebounded more than 4 percent from a three- month low on Aug. 7 as investors speculated central banks will keep interest rates low even as the economy shows signs of recovery.
Minutes to the central bank’s July meeting released Wednesday showed that officials raised the possibility that aggressive stimulus will end sooner than anticipated, even as they acknowledged persistent slack in the labor market. The central bank will probably wind up its asset-purchase program at its October meeting, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.
A report today showed fewer Americans than forecast applied for unemployment benefits last week. Yellen has highlighted uneven progress in the labor market in making the case for further accommodation.
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