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Market rally continues, sending S&P 500 briefly over 2,000

Stock Markets Rise On Euro Zone Plan AgreementStock Markets Rise On Euro Zone Plan Agreement
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.Photo by Spencer Platt—Getty Images

The S&P 500 index reached another milestone Monday morning, moving above 2,000 points for a time, as global markets continued their recent advance.

The benchmark index hit an intraday record high of 2,001.95 on Monday, but finished the day a little more than two points below the milestone mark. The S&P 500 was up about 0.5%, or 9.5 points, to close at a new record high after a strong previous week that saw several all-time intraday highs as well as a then-record close on Thursday of 1,992.37.

The technology and pharmaceutical sectors have led gains for the index, while the retail and telecommunications sectors have continued to underperform.

The S&P 500 has grown by about 8.5% on the year and is now up 3.5% in the month of August, despite racking up significant losses earlier in the month as part of a broader market sell-off.

Markets got a boost this morning from speculation that the European Central Bank could take measures to stimulate the European economy, while corporate deal-making also sent several stocks soaring. The potential merger of Burger King and Canadian doughnut chain Tim Horton’s sent shares of both companies climbing, while the stock of Swiss healthcare company Roche was up slightly after it agreed to buy California-based drug-maker InterMune in an $8.3 billion deal that valued the target at a 38% premium.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished Monday up 0.4%, as the blue-chip index jumped roughly 75 points on the day after being up more than 100 at some points, putting it firmly above the 17,000-point mark that it crossed for the first time earlier this year. The Dow Jones fell far below that point amid the sell-off earlier this month in which the index fell more than 700 points from its previous intraday highs.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq has been rising steadily since that sell-off ended, hitting 14-year highs last week, and was up roughly 0.4%, or more than 18 points, on Monday.

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