Dow, S&P 500 close at new records in New York

Breaking News September 19, 2017 07:25

NEW YORK - Wall Street rose to fresh record closes on Monday, boosted by gains in financial and industrial stocks while investors eyed this week's meeting of the US central bank.

Rising bond yields in anticipation of the Federal Reserve policy review pushed bank shares higher while strength in oil prices helped crude producers.

Construction equipment giant Caterpillar also gained on a positive rating from analysts.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3 percent to end the session at 22,331.35, while the broader S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent to 2,503.87, just a hair's breadth more than Friday's prior record finish.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq also eked out a positive finish, adding 0.1 percent to reach 6,454.64 points, just short of record territory.

Jack Ablin of BMO Private Bank told AFP investors likely now expect the Fed will brush aside concerns about economic damage from back-to-back hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and raise interest rates for a third time later this year.

"They will likely take on a more aggressive stance," Ablin said of the Fed, which could be seen as an endorsement of current economic conditions.

"Investors are looking at it as the Fed seeing an economy strong enough to sustain tightening."

The Fed, which starts its two-day meeting on Tuesday, is expected to announce the start of a program to taper its multi-trillion-dollar bond holdings built up during the financial crisis.

The Dow floated higher, lifted by JP Morgan Chase, which gained 1.4 percent, and by Goldman Sachs and American Express, which each rose one percent.

Oil prices clung to gains with a barrel of crude rose two cents at $49.91. Chevron gained 0.5 percent and BP added 0.2 percent but ExxonMobil was essentially flat.

Meanwhile, Caterpillar rose two percent, hitting a record high after UBS analysts said the company was due to benefit from growing spending in the mining and construction sectors.

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