Wall Street up, S&P 500 ends at record
US stocks rose today as the S&P 500 scored a second straight record close, buoyed by the latest round of merger activity and as expectations for rate cuts by the European Central Bank stoked investors' appetite for equities.
ECB chief Mario Draghi said yesterday the bank must be "particularly watchful" for any negative price spiral in the euro zone. His comments increased bets that the bank was ready to cut rates next week to counter low inflation and weak lending in the euro zone, keeping asset purchases as an option.
US markets, which were closed for Memorial Day, had to digest the ECB news.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 69.23 points or 0.42 percent, to end at 16,675.50. The S&P 500 advanced 11.38 points or 0.60 percent, to 1,911.91, a record. The Nasdaq Composite added 51.26 points or 1.22 percent, to 4,237.07.
European shares rose to multi-year highs, bolstered by US economic data, mergers and acquisitions talk and expectations of more policy easing by the European Central Bank.
New economic numbers showed orders for long-lasting US manufactured goods unexpectedly rose in April, home prices advanced more than expected in March and consumer confidence rose to near its highest since 2008.
In addition, on Monday ECB chief Mario Draghi suggested once again that the central bank will cut euro zone interest rates next week. Other policymakers also drove home the message today.Intercontinental Hotel, or IHG, rose 3.4 percent to feature among the top performers on the FTSEurofirst 300 index. The index closed 0.2 percent higher at 1,378.82 points after climbing to its highest since early 2008.
Earlier, Japan's Nikkei share average rose extending gains into a fourth day as recent upbeat Chinese and US data continued to lift investors' risk appetites. The Nikkei ended 0.2 percent higher at a fresh seven-week high of 14,636.52. The broader Topix was flat at 1,195.11, while the new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 added 0.1 percent to 10,903.57.