(Reuters) – The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 ended at record highs on Monday, helped by a rally in Apple as well as tepid economic data suggesting the Federal Reserve may wait to raise interest rates.
The S&P 500 racked up its third straight all-time high close, gaining 6.47 points, or 0.3%, to end at 2,129.2 points. The Dow rose 26.32 points, or 0.14%, to end at 18,298.88, beating its previous record close of 18,288.63 from March 2.
U.S. homebuilder sentiment fell in May although most builders view market conditions as favorable, the National Association of Home Builders said on Monday.
Slowing economic expansion in recent months, stemming partly from a stronger dollar and sluggish wage growth, has led many investors to push back expectations about when the Fed will begin raising interest rates for the first time since 2006.
Apple’s rise was the biggest factor for the rise in the three major indexes.
Seven of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with the financial index’s 0.56% gain leading the way.
Sentiment got a boost from talk of mergers and acquisitions.
Altera rose 5.65% to $46.93 after the New York Post reported the company had resumed talks with Intel on a possible deal. Intel rose 1.24 percent.
Alibaba fell 1.53% after a group of luxury goods makers sued the company on Friday, contending that the Chinese e-commerce giant knowingly made it possible for counterfeiters to sell their products throughout the world.
The S&P now trades at 17 times expected earnings, expensive compared to its 10-year median of 15.
Relatively light trading volume suggests recent gains may not be resilient, especially as the market approaches summer months when many on Wall Street takes time off, said Brunner.
About 5.3 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the 6.4 billion average this month, according to BATS Global Markets.
During the session, advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,577 to 1,428, for a 1.10-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,719 issues rose and 1,014 fell for a 1.70-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
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