S&P 500 ends at record on dovish Fed, rally in oil shares

VIDEO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - The S&P 500 finished at a record high Thursday (June 20), boosted by a rally in oil-linked shares amid new US-Iran tensions and continued positive sentiment over the Federal Reserve's dovish tilt.

The broad-based equity index ended the day at 2,954.18, up 1 per cent from Wednesday's close and about eight points over the record set in April.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.9 per cent to finish the session at 26,753.17, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.8 per cent to 8,051.34.

Investors were cheered by the Fed's policy statement and news conference on Wednesday, which opened the door to a potential interest rate cut as soon as July.

The market also shrugged off a dip in the yield on the 10-year US Treasury note - which is often seen as an angst-producing harbinger of economic weakness.

"Stocks are higher across the board... as the Fed's dovish shift continues to fuel the rally across asset classes," Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman said in a midday note.

While the gains were broad-based, petroleum-linked shares were especially buoyant as oil prices rallied in the wake of heightening tensions between the US and Iran after Iran shot down a US spy drone.

Apache won 3.1 per cent, Halliburton 4.9 per cent and Transocean 4.7 per cent.