The S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed trading at their record highs in a choppy trading session while the dollar strengthened on speculation that economic data due later this week will the case for a hike in the interest rates.
“There’s not pessimism and there’s not giddy optimism,” Jim Paulsen, the Minneapolis-based chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management Inc., which oversees $347 billion, told Bloomberg.
“We’re somewhere in between. People are starting to focus on if there’s going to be a bounce in economic growth or not.”
Trading volume on Wall Street was however lower than usual as investor shook of concerns from a renewed sell off in bonds and concerns about Greece.
The S&P 500 Index added 6.47 points or 0.3% to close at 2129.20 points- it third straight record close.
The benchmark index I seeking to move above an 80-point range it has been stuck in since mid-February following concern on a possible lowdown in the US economy.
“The weak reports make this year’s earnings growth rate very difficult to assess,” Gail Dudack, chief investment strategist at Dudack Research Group, a division of brokerage Wellington Shields & Co, told The Wall Street Journal.
“Since multiples are slightly above average, it’s been our view that we will need earnings growth for stocks to move higher,” she added.
The Dow Jones Industrial average jumped by 29 points or 0.1% to close at 18,298.8 points- edging slight above its previous closing record recorded on March 2nd.
The technology heavy Nasdaq Composite recorded the biggest percentage advance of the three main indexes jumping by 20.62 points or 0.6% to 5078.44 to edge within 0.3% of its previous record close.
The technology heavy index was bolstered by a 1.1% gain in Apple Inc’s shares on comments by activist investor Carl Icahn calling for a bigger stock buyback program by the tech giant.
The investor, one of the company’s top 10 stockholders, also said that the company’s stock was still undervalued and should trade at $240 a share.
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