Specialist Fabian Caceres works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, March 28, 2013. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed at a record high Thursday, beating the mark it set in October 2007. The S&P rose six points to 1,569, a gain of 0.4 percent, beating its previous record by four points. The index is still shy of its all-time trading high of 1,576. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
NEW YORK (AP) — For the second time in less than a month, the stock market marched past another milepost on its long, turbulent journey back from the Great Recession, toppling another record left over from the days before government bailouts and failing investment banks.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 closed at a new high Thursday, three weeks after another popular market gauge, the Dow Jones industrial average, obliterated its own closing record. The S&P capped its best quarter in a year, rising 10 percent, and the Dow had its best first quarter in 15 years, climbing 11 percent.
The numbers offer more evidence that investors believe the economy is on the mend, said Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ.
“The low-flying recovery is gaining altitude,” Stovall said, citing a truism among investors that rising stock prices come first, then the economy catches up.
Thursday’s performance was driven by encouraging economic data. Companies are making record profits quarter after quarter. They’re hiring in greater numbers, and the housing market is finally recovering. The economy Login to read more