S&P index passes 2,000 mark, ends at 1,997.92


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Posted Online: Aug. 25, 2014, 6:20 pm
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The Associated Press
Summer doldrums? Not on Wall Street.

The stock market notched another first on Monday as the Standard & Poor's 500 index nudged briefly past the 2,000-point mark and closed with its second record high in a week.

The move was the latest milestone in a five-year rally for U.S. stocks, which are enjoying a late-summer revival after dipping earlier this month on concerns about rising geopolitical tensions in Russia and the Middle East.

Investors have put aside those concerns for now, focusing instead on the improving outlook for the U.S. economy and the prospect of rising corporate earnings.

On Monday, traders were encouraged by some high-profile corporate deal news, which overshadowed sluggish sales of new homes.

News that Burger King is in talks to acquire doughnut chain Tim Hortons and create a new holding company headquartered in Canada had stocks pointing higher in premarket trading. That built on word over the weekend that California biotech company InterMune agreed to sell itself to Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche for $8.3 billion. Some other names in biotech got a boost from the deal.

Shortly after the market opened, the Commerce Department reported that sales of new homes slid 2.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 412,000. Homebuilder stocks declined, but the report didn't weigh down the broader market.

The S&P 500, a widely followed barometer of the U.S. stock market, crossed above 2,000 in the first hour of trading.

The index fluctuated above and below the milestone mark throughout the day and ended just below the 2,000 mark. The index closed above 1,000 points for the first time in February 1998.

"The index number itself is somewhat symbolic," said David Kelley, JPMorgan Funds' chief global strategist. "It's a continuation of what we've seen all year."

All told, the S&P 500 added 9.52 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,997.92. It closed at a record last Thursday at 1,992.37.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 75.65 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,076.87. The Nasdaq composite gained 18.80 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,557.35.

The major U.S. indexes are riding a three-week streak of weekly gains and are up for the year.

Stocks, with support from the Federal Reserve's easy-money policies, have been on a bull run for more than five years after the market bottomed out during the Great Recession in March, 2009.

"Unless the story changes, the stock market is going to get pushed higher by the lack of potentially good returns elsewhere," Kelley said.

Corporate deals have been a recurring driver of the market this year. Investors seized on the trend on Monday, sending Burger King up 19.5 percent. The stock added $5.29 to $32.40.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.38 percent from 2.40 percent late Friday.



















 



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  Today is Wednesday, Oct. 1, the 274th day of 2014. There are 91 days left in the year.

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1889 -- 125 years ago: Harvey McKenna, of Detroit, billiard player matched to play Wizard Schafer in New York in January for the world championship, was a professional friend and manager, Billy Catton in Rock Island.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Levi Cralle, former Rock Island county sheriff, had come from his farm near Mitchell, S.D. to visit friends in the city.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Work is being rushed on the new high school building in Orion to replace the one destroyed by fire last winter. Classes are being held in churches.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Rehearsals for the 84th season of the Handel Oratorio Society chorus will begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday on the stage of Centennial Hall, Augustana College.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Rock Island City Council's plan announced this week to have the federal government vacate Valley Homes public housing and move residents to Arsenal Courts to reduce density may not be feasible.






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