Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on May 14, 2015.
Photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

S&P closes at record; stocks jump amid weaker dollar, yields


U.S. stocks closed one percent higher on Thursday as investors cheered further weakness in the dollar and calmer bond markets, amid mixed economic data. 

The S&P 500 set a new closing record with information technology jumping 1.7 percent to lead all 10 sectors higher.

The Dow Jones industrial average came within 50 points of its record high after gaining more than 150 points in morning trades, with Apple and Microsoft leading the advancers. JPMorgan Chase hit a 15-year high. 

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The Nasdaq rose more than 1 percent to within 50 points of its record close, boosted by tech and biotechnology stocks.

“The closer we get to new highs the more buyers you’ll attract,” said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at RW Baird. “The catalyst is the performance of the market itself.” 

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“If it closes with a burst I think you carry it forward tomorrow,” he said.

Analysts attributed gains to several factors, including further decline in the U.S. dollar and lower bond yields. Traders also noted some short covering ahead of options expiration on Friday.

“We have dollar weakness today. That continues to hold the key,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. “There is complacency in the bond market and that’s helping to ease that fear of yields climbing.”

The U.S. dollar recovered slightly but held near recent lows, while the euro topped $1.14 for the first time since February. The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.24 percent, off Tuesday’s high of 2.366 percent.

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S&P closes at record; stocks jump amid weaker dollar, yields