Wall Street Dow, S&P end at records in fireworks before the Fourth
The Dow and the S&P 500 closed at record highs today as manufacturing activity picked up in the United States and Asia and increased optimism about the global economy's health.
The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average came close to the 17,000 milestone in early afternoon trading, rising slightly over 1 percent to 16,998.70. The rally - led by IBM, up 2.8 percent at $186.35, and Visa Inc, up 1.7 percent at $214.25 - marked the first trading day of both the third quarter and the second half of 2014. The US stock market will be closed on Friday for the Independence Day holiday on the Fourth of July.
Financial data firm Markit said its final US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to 57.3 in June, the highest since May 2010, although it was slightly lower than the preliminary read of 57.5.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 129.47 points or 0.77 percent, to end at 16,956.07. The S&P 500 gained 13.09 points or 0.67 percent, to 1,973.32. The Nasdaq Composite shot up 50.47 points or 1.14 percent, to 4,458.65.
About 5.84 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges, in line with last month's average of about 5.8 billion, according to data from BATS Global Markets.
Advancers outnumbered decliners on the New York Stock Exchange by a ratio of about 2 to 1, while on the Nasdaq, nearly three stocks rose for every one that fell.
Meanwhile, European shares began the month with a gain, as BNP Paribas rose on relief it had settled a US sanctions case and mining companies rallied after encouraging economic data came out of China, the world's top metals consumer.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 0.9 percent at 1,382.31 points - notching its biggest one-day percentage gain since May 8.
BNP Paribas rose 3.6 percent in trading volume of almost twice its 90-day daily average. It had lost about 20 percent - or $21 billion of its market value - since Feb. 13 when it announced the provision for the fine.