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S&P 500 closes above 2,000 for first time

The S&P 500 closed above 2,000 for the first time on Tuesday in yet another sign of the bull market’s continued strength.

The benchmark index finished the day up just over two points, or .1%, after hitting a new intraday record high of 2,005.04 during the afternoon. The S&P is already up 2.3% for the week and it has jumped more than 21% in the past month after being led by gains in the technology and pharmaceutical sectors. It briefly crossed the 2,000 threshold yesterday, but eventually pulled back at the market’s close.

It was a day of relatively modest market gains compared with Monday, when investors were encouraged by a spate of big corporate merger news – led by news of Burger King’s planned $11.4 billion purchase of Canadian coffee and dounut chain Tim Horton’s.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also hit an intraday record high on Tuesday afternoon when it was up more than 75 points, but the index pulled back a bit before close to finish up by almost 30 points at 17,106.70. The index appears to be back on track after shedding more than 700 points over the course of a couple of weeks amid a broad market sell-off earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq improved by more than 13 points to 4,570.64, and remains at more than a 14-year high.

The European markets also continued their climb on Tuesday, bolstered by speculation that the European Central Bank will opt for quantitative easing measures to stimulate the continent’s economy. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index rose 0.7% on Tuesday, while Germany’s DAX jumped 0.8%.