US stocks marked a fresh high at midsession on Monday as Britain’s Brexit fallout was relegated in favour of growing confidence for the US economy in the wake of surprisingly strong non-farm payrolls in June reported last Friday.
The market bellwether S&P 500 was up 0.5% at 2,141. Earlier it hit an intraday high of 2,143. That comfortably topped the previous record of 2,134.72 set in May 2015. The broad-market barometer has rallied by more than 16% from its 2016 lows struck in February, and has more than recovered from the losses sparked by the shock vote by Britons in June to exit the European Union.
Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed as much as 0.9% to 5,002.5, briefly topping the 5,000 threshold for the first time this year, but still remained well below the all-time high of 5,231.9 it hit last July.
But it wasn’t just the employment report which offered gusto to traders. The US growth rate may have risen to 2.4% in the second quarter, from 1.1% in the first three months of the year, according to a forecast by the Atlanta Federal Reserve.
In a sign of investors’ hunger for assets that offer regular streams of payments, utilities, telecommunications and consumer staples have posted the biggest gains by a wide margin since the S&P 500 last hit its record high, with all three S&P 500 sectors printing double-digit percentage increases.
The S&P Midcap 400 was up 0.6% at 1,529 and led by Wisdomtree Investments (NASDAQ:WETF), up 7% at $10.42, while the S&P Smallcap 600 gained 1% to 729 and led by Sagent Pharm Inc (NASDAQ:SGNT) up 39.7% to $21.66, after lawyers John & Weaver launched an investigation it the fairness of a proposed sale of the company to Japan’s Nichi-Iko Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Wall Street started the week in the black as positive sentiment spilled over from Friday's upbeat non-farm payrolls.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average kicked off 73 points up at 18,220.
Connor Campbell at Spreadex said: "That now leaves the Dow at new 2016 highs, beating the levels struck in mid-April, with the index only 150 points away from its all-time peak."
The pound was up 0.18% against the dollar at US$1.2975.