Technology companies and banks helped power stocks on Wall Street broadly higher Monday, extending the market’s gains of the past two weeks.
The rally came as investors found fresh reason for optimism as the U.S. and China continue negotiations aimed at resolving their costly trade war. China’s top negotiator said over the weekend that “substantial progress” was being made in its talks with the U.S. Tensions over trade between Washington and Beijing have cooled recently.
The latest gains nudged the S&P 500 above 3,000 points for the first time in a month.
The benchmark index is now within 0.7% of its all-time high set on July 26 but could need a catalyst to set a record.
“This would be about the fourth time since July that we’re coming up against that all-time high again,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading & derivatives at Charles Schwab. “I have a hard time seeing us break through that if we don’t get some kind of a trade deal.”
The S&P 500 index rose 20.52 points, or 0.7%, to 3,006.72. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 57.44 points, or 0.2%, to 26,827.64. The index was weighed down by a sharp drop in Boeing shares. The Nasdaq climbed 73.44 points, or 0.9%, to 8,162.99. The Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks did much better than other indices in another sign of investors’ confidence. The index picked up 14.66 points, or 1%, to 1,550.14.
As they wait for trade talk developments, investors have been shifting their focus to corporate earnings reports. Monday was a relatively quiet start to a week full of results from major companies.