Stocks gain, setting a new record high for S&P 500 index

Ex-Fed Chairman Bernanke visits Bank of Japan

Published: Today 12:13 am Ex Fed Chairman Bernanke visits Bank of Japan Reuters

The S&P 500 roared to an all-time high Monday as global bourses added to sharp gains won before the weekend thanks to a strong USA jobs report.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 115.84 points, or 0.64 percent, at 18,262.58.

Alcoa reported a smaller-than-expected drop in quarterly profit, sending the aluminum producer's shares up 4.7 percent premarket.

"Some of the uncertainty, "flight-to-quality" type of unknown bid is leaving the markets", said Tom Tucci, head of Treasuries trading at CIBC in NY.

The S&P 500 was up 17.16 points, or 0.8 percent, at 2,154.32.

The S&P 500 rose 7.26 points to close at a record high of 2,137.16 on Monday after setting an intraday all-time high of 2,143.16.

However, the best performing S&P 500 sectors since the previous record have been defensive: Utilities, telecoms and consumer staples, all with double-digit percentage gains. Stocks are still valued highly compared to historical norms and will face another big test over the next few weeks as USA companies report their second-quarter revenue and profit figures.

In Japan, the Nikkei Stock Average 225 surged 2.89%, Australia's ASX All Ordinaries Index gained 0.84%, while South Korea Kospi Index was down 0.10%. The Nasdaq Composite.IXIC was up 42.90 points, or 0.87 percent, at 4,999.66. The Dow hit an all-time high of 18,353.76. Boeing rose $2.12, or 1.7 percent, to $132.16 and JPMorgan Chase added 58 cents, or 1 percent, to $62.42.

Second-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to decline 5.4 per cent compared with previous year. Chevron rose 1.0 percent, Halliburton 2.7 percent and ConocoPhillips 2.5 percent.

Hard-disk drive maker Seagate jumped 16.2 percent to $28 on strong preliminary results. May's rise brings to a close three weeks of political upheaval since the country voted to leave the European Union last month. It also announced it will cut 6,500 jobs, or about 14 percent of its total.

Meanwhile Milan's main share price index rose more than 3 percent at one point in afternoon trading after reassuring comments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel on finding a solution to recapitalise Italian banks and avoid a crisis.

USA crude futures fell 50 cents or 1.1% to reach $44.91 a barrel.

Chinese shares rose as investors figured the inflation numbers raised the prospect of more economic stimulus - something market participants are anticipating from several major central banks around the world in coming months.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 103.09 yen from 102.61 yen in late trading Monday.

U.S. Treasury yields rose on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's order for a fresh round of fiscal stimulus, which contributed to the boost in risky possessions such as stocks and minimized need for safe-haven U.S. bonds, and as investors braced for $56 billion in brand-new coupon-bearing supply this week. Brent crude, a standard for worldwide oil prices, rose 14 cents to $46.39 a barrel in London. On the Nasdaq, 1,957 issues rose and 683 fell.

Gold fell 1.80 U.S. dollars to 1,356.60 United States dollars an ounce, silver rose two cents to 20.30 USA dollars an ounce and copper rose three cents to 2.15 U.S. dollars a pound.

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