S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite hit record highs

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite both returned to record territory on Tuesday, as investors seized on the dovish signals from the Federal Reserve and other major central banks to drive a months-long recovery despite continued uncertainty over the outlook for the global economy.

The main US equities benchmark was up 0.8 per cent just before midday as a rally in the healthcare, consumer discretionary and technology sectors helped push it past its peak closing level from September 20 last year of 2,930.75.

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.3 per cent, taking it past its previous peak close on August 29 of 8,109.687.

That takes the S&P 500’s gain for the year to nearly 17 per cent and marks a recovery of about 25 per cent from the S&P 500’s recent nadir on December 24, when it closed on the verge of a bear market. The Nasdaq is up 22.3 per cent in 2019.

The move back into new highs comes even as some indicators in the bond market had pointed to a potential economic recession and as investors had girded themselves for a challenging reporting season that could see S&P 500 earnings decline for the first time since 2016. That all raises questions about how much further the longest postwar bull market for US equities has left to run.

More to follow.

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