S&P 500 hits record high on global risk appetite

The S&P 500 broke the record high as upbeat economic data and low bond yields funneled investors into US stocks.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York on April 12, 2016.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York on April 12, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The US benchmark S&P 500 stock index set a record intraday high on Monday (July 11) in the wake of last week's strong monthly US jobs report, while European shares rose on reduced political uncertainty and US Treasury yields edged off record lows.

The S&P 500 touched a record intraday high of 2,139.34 points on Monday. Last Friday's jobs report showed the economy added the most jobs in eight months in June, boosting confidence in the US economy.

The gains on Monday were broad-based, with seven of the 10 major S&P sectors higher. Financials led the gainers with a 0.7 per cent rise. JPMorgan was up 1.4 per cent and provided the biggest boost to the S&P.

Wall Street had closed sharply higher on Friday, with the S&P ending just 5 points below its previous all-time high of 2,134.72.

A combination of electoral success for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and the emergence of a sole candidate to succeed David Cameron as British prime minister, reduced political uncertainty and helped European shares gain.

The anticipation of stimulus measures also boosted stocks, while Japan's preparation for a new round of stimulus helped push Treasury yields higher. "Reaching a new high may see money moving from the sidelines of safety trades, like Treasury bonds and gold, back into the equity markets," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth. "The emphasis of the markets will be how fast and how long the S&P remains above the record today."

US Treasury yields rose on Japanese Prime Minister Abe's order for new stimulus, which contributed to the boost in risky assets such as stocks and reduced demand for safe-haven US bonds. Yields also rose as investors braced for $56 billion in new coupon-bearing supply this week.

The Dow Jones industrial average was last up 81.25 points, or 0.45 per cent, at 18,227.99. The S&P 500 was up 7.41 points, or 0.35 per cent, at 2,137.31. The Nasdaq Composite was up 30.39 points, or 0.61 per cent, at 4,987.15.