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Wednesday August 31st, 2016 3:55AM

Another milestone: S&P 500 closes above 2,000

By The Associated Press
It was a big round-number day for the stock market.<br /> <br /> The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed a hair above 2,000 points Tuesday, 16 years after it closed above 1,000 points for the first time.<br /> <br /> The milestone added to the market's gains from the day before and extended the stock index's record-shattering run this year.<br /> <br /> The S&P 500 index, a widely followed barometer of the stock market, has closed at a new high 30 times this year. By this time last year, it had done so 25 times.<br /> <br /> The index briefly rose past 2,000 on Monday, but closed just below that level. It still set a record-high close in the process.<br /> <br /> "There's perhaps a small psychological boost when you get over such a significant price level," said Cameron Hinds, regional chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Private Bank.<br /> <br /> U.S. stocks, in the midst of a five-year rally, have surged in the final weeks of the summer after dipping earlier this month on concerns about geopolitical tensions in Russia and the Middle East.<br /> <br /> The latest string of shattered market benchmarks comes as investors cheered new indications that the economy is strengthening, setting the stage for stronger company earnings.<br /> <br /> Major U.S. indexes began in positive territory in premarket trading Tuesday. That trend held as investors began to digest the latest economic reports.<br /> <br /> The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose this month to the highest point in nearly seven years. A separate report showed that orders of durable manufactured goods surged by a record 22.6 percent in July, thanks to a jump in aircraft sales. A third report showed U.S. home prices rose in June, although at a slower pace.<br /> <br /> Stocks opened slightly higher and remained in the green the rest of the day. The S&P crossed above 2,000 points early on, and hovered at or above the mark as it approached the close of regular trading.<br /> <br /> Moments before the close it dipped below 2,000, then inched up just above.<br /> <br /> The S&P 500 rose 2.10 points, or 0.1 percent, to end at 2,000.02. Seven of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 index gained, led by energy stocks. Utilities declined the most.<br /> <br /> The Dow Jones industrial average rose 29.83 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,106.70. The Nasdaq composite gained 13.29 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,570.64.<br /> <br /> The major U.S. indexes are riding a three-week streak of weekly gains and are up for the year.
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