S&P 500 Hits New Record High

Sunlight shines on the historic buildings of the financial district in lower Manhattan, New York City near Wall Street
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The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Monday.

Fears of a recession have largely abated as consumer spending has remained robust, corporate earnings have outperformed expectations, and layoffs remained scarce amid very low unemployment.

The S&P 500, a stock market index that measures the performance of shares of 500 large companies listed on stock exchanges in the United States, rose 0.55 percent to 3039.28, the highest close ever for the index.

The Nasdaq was up around one percent, just shy of a record. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 123 points, or 0.46 percent.

U.S. public companies are midway through the unofficial earnings season and the results have often surprised investors to the upside. Perhaps more importantly, banks and credit card companies have emphasized that they see U.S. consumer spending as very healthy. Consumer spending makes up about 70 percent of the U.S. economy. Around 150 companies included in the S&P 500 will report quarterly earnings this week, including General Electric, General Motors, Google, Apple, and Facebook.

The Federal Reserve will commence its two-day monetary policy meeting Tuesday. Fed officials are expected to cut interest rates for the third time this year, dropping their overnight target by a quarter percentage point to a range of 1.50 to 1.75 percent.



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